IPC Chapter 23 Part 3: Cold

Interstellar Power Couple

Translator: Leslie

Quality Check: Vemmy

Editor: Chesh

First Published on Chaleuria

Chapter 23 Part 3: Cold

Perhaps it was because he saw the hint of confusion within Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue’s eyes, but Qi Yu lowered his voice and explained in an apologetic manner, “She came here with Lu Sha.”

Other than He Yunshu, Lu Sha was the only girl among those who came. She was a rather forthright person, so when He Yunshu came up to her after being ditched by her friends, asking if she could join them, Lu Sha agreed. She was just that sort of careless and indiscreet person; it was only after Lu Sha brought the person and got reprimanded by Lu Xian that she finally realized that it wasn’t appropriate, but by then it wouldn’t have been polite to send her away again. 

She discreetly placed her palms together and made a begging motion for forgiveness, then quietly said, “I’ll definitely be more careful next time!”

He Yunshu called out in a small voice, “Big Brother Lingyu.”

Xiao Lingyu grunted, his expression blank. “Let’s split up. I will be on the same team as Little Jue, so we’ll need one more person.”

Perhaps because they were all descendants of military families and had thus been imperceptibly influenced by their environment to be fond of combat, there was a rule in this little circle, which was to fight first when they met up, then the losers would have to treat the winners to a meal.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an actual fight; they would be divided into two groups to duke it out in a virtual reality battle

Si Qinq laughed, “Are you for real? You want to fight 3 on 5?”

Xiao Lingyu pulled Lei Jue closer. “2 on 6 is fine too. I had no intention of letting any of you treat me today anyways.”

Lu Xian—a baldie who had never once gotten up from the couch at all—opened his mouth and said, “You’ve been so arrogant since getting hitched, but this is the first time you’ve brought Lei Jue over. No matter what, we must let him have a good time, so let’s go with 3 against 5. Lu Sha, you go with them. The rest are all with me.”

Lei Jue asked, “Why not 4 against 4?”

Lu Sha replied, “Because your man is a freak.”

Xiao Lingyu wasn’t perturbed by being referred to as a freak. Instead, he tightened his hold on Lei Jue and smiled. “Since my dear babe is here today, of course I’m even more of a freak today.”

“Tsk, so cheesy!”

“Here, let me explain the rules.” Xiao Lingyu said to Lei Jue.

The group divvied up the VR headsets. Lei Jue received one as well, and laid down next to Xiao Lingyu. He’d never played this before, so Xiao Lingyu explained as he helped Lei Jue fasten the headset, “As long as you successfully conquer the enemy’s weapons cache, you win. Each warrior’s physical data is basically the same as in real life, as with the sensitivity of all five senses. However, it’s best to lower the pain sensitivity, otherwise it’ll really hurt when you get hit.”

However, Lei Jue said, “It’s only exciting if the sensitivity levels are high, or else there won’t be any realism. Let me pick the highest level.”

Xiao Lingyu smiled. “I’ve always done it like this.”

For some inexplicable reason, the thought that they would be able to do this together felt incredibly wonderful.

Lei Jue smiled as well, then selected the option to enter the battlefield. He soon realized that it was like entering a whole new world. Every troop had its own weapons arsenal, and could select their prefered weapon before the start of battle.

The weapon was weighty in his hand. It felt hyper-realistic.

Xiao Lingyu glanced at Lei Jue’s state and saw no oddities. Just as he was strapping on his own headset, he realized the others were looking at him with knowing grins.

Qi Yu tsked, “So even you have such an attentive side to yourself?”

Xiao Lingyu lightly coughed. “Even if you don’t speak, no one will think you’re mute.”

A tinge of hurt flashed across He Yunshu’s eyes.

However, Xiao Lingyu paid her no heed. After he finished speaking, he thought for a moment and had Carrera stand guard. After that, he followed Lei Jue onto the virtual battlefield. He, Lei Jue, and Lu Sha were on the blue team, while Lu Xian led the red team with Si Qin, Qi Yu, He Yunshu, and Lu Xian’s younger cousin, Che Heng.

Clad in the uniform of the blue team, Xiao Lingyu walked toward Lei Jue. “Do you know how to fire a gun?”

Lei Jue, of course, knew how to shoot one, even if this era’s “bullets” were a complete departure for him. Despite that, their usage was similar, so he nodded. “I can’t guarantee that I’ll hit my mark for now, though.” Even if he had used guns in his previous life, he hadn’t practiced in over a year. However, he felt great right now.

“Just follow me. Whether we win or lose doesn’t matter. It’s all in good fun anyway.” Lu Sha often played this, so Xiao Lingyu ignored her. He took Lei Jue in the direction of the enemy camp on foot in order to infiltrate it. At last, they stopped behind a small hill to catch their breath from their brisk journey. “Are you tired?” He asked Lei Jue. 

“Nope.” Just as Lei Jue finished speaking, a shadow zoomed before him on his right. Both he and Xiao Lingyu raised their guns simultaneously. With a blast, they shot in the direction of the opposition.

There was a yelp as the thing before they keeled over. Remembering that Lei Jue felt dizzy at the sight of blood, Xiao Lingyu had him wait on the spot while he himself went over to inspect the being. What they had felled was a large black bear, and what’s more, it had been shot twice!

It was obvious that the shot Lei Jue fired had hit its mark. Even from such a distance, it had actually struck true!

Xiao Lingyu first felt astoundment at this, but after that came amazement. The kind of feeling he got from fighting foes together with people he got along with with was really nice. He ran back to get Lei Jue. With a smile in his eyes, he said, “Babe, I didn’t know your aim was that precise. Both of us shot a black bear.”

Lei Jue said, “Ah, it was passable.”

Back then, his shooting skills were one-of-a-kind in his troop. Whenever he fought, he fought via instinct.

Lei Jue propped his gun on his shoulder. Because he’d picked a lighter one, he could still support its weight on his shoulder. And right now, this action allowed him to be more self-confident, appearing dashing and sunny.

Xiao Lingyu felt that he may be somewhat blinded by this.

Lei Jue said, “Let’s go.”

It was only then that Xiao Lingyu snapped out of his reverie and followed.

Because it was all simulated, Lei Jue didn’t need to heal anyone. He put aside the incident with the black bear. Everyone, upon looking at the data sheets and seeing that Xiao Lingyu’s side had taken down a black bear, exclaimed over how swift he was. Upon closer inspection, it seemed that Lei Jue had also shot it once, and they felt astonished again. They thought that perhaps Xiao Lingyu had decided to let Lei Jue have some fun by putting a bullet in it after he had taken it down.

This was too pampering of him.

However, this was also what caused the red team to suffer a loss. Everyone had thought that, out of the Lei Jue and Xiao Lingyu duo, only one was a threat, so they left Si Qing at the base before coming out to search for the two of them, thinking of overwhelming them through sheer numbers. That way, even if they were killed by Xiao Lingyu, Lei Jue would at least get to have some fun beforehand. The results spoke for themselves: Che Heng was the first one to get shot, but it wasn’t Xiao Lingyu who hit him!

“Drat. Lingyu, you changed your gun?” Che Heng collapsed to the ground. With all the blood pouring out of him, he couldn’t move any longer, but could still speak. Obviously, there would still be pain if you got shot, even if it wasn’t as intense as in real life, but even though he’d adjusted the intensity to 50%, it was still remarkably agonizing. What surprised him was the fact that Xiao Lingyu was using a lightweight gun this time. He usually went for heavier ones with higher destructive power.

“How could it be? Don’t you know my preferences by now? That shot you took there was fired by my dear Little Jue,” Xiao Lingyu said with a laugh. “Savor this feeling; no ordinary person would have the chance to experience this.”

“Pah! Look how smug you are!”

“I am being smug, whatcha gonna do about it?” With that, Xiao Lingyu went to find Lei Jue. “Babe, you’re really a master sharpshooter. That was too suave.”

Had it been an ordinary situation, Lei Jue would’ve downplayed his achievement, but this time, strangely enough, he didn’t make a peep.

He just sat there shivering, with his head lowered. Xiao Lingyu tilted Lei Jue’s head upward with a hand on Lei Jue’s chin and saw empty, soulless eyes.

“Little Jue? What’s wrong?” Xiao Lingyu realized something wasn’t right as he patted Lei Jue’s face twice. “Do you feel unwell?”

Lei Jue heard Xiao Lingyu calling out to him. He wanted to reply, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t make a single sound. Not only could he hear Xiao Lingyu’s voice, he could also hear the voice of another. That voice was familiar to him. That person sang to him in  a very despondent voice, as if they were locked in hell, suffering, tormented, despairing… 

Every single most depressing thing in the world was swirling around him.

Xiao Lingyu…

Right, there was still Xiao Lingyu!

Lei Jue’s body quickly vanished from Xiao Lingyu’s line of sight.

Xiao Lingyu hurriedly cut off the link and plucked his headset off. What he saw made his heart twist, as if it were being violently squeezed. All he saw was Lei Jue’s half-bent body by a wall, one hand placed on it and the other clasping the Abyssal Comet Fire in a vice grip. His entire being trembled under some unknown pressure, and the light shining on him made the beads of sweat dotting his forehead glaringly obvious.

Lei Jue blankly looked at Xiao Lingyu. With one hand, he grabbed Xiao Lingyu’s shirt, and with a massive effort, managed to squeeze out a single word in such a soft tone that it could barely be heard.

“Cold…”

Once he’d forced the word out, he looked like he simply wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball.

Xiao Lingyu hurriedly pulled Lei Jue into his arms. As he supported Lei Jue’s back with an arm, he said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take you back now.” With that, he turned his head back and yelled out, “Carrera! Pick us up from the closest point!”

Si Qing and Lu Xian had also retreated from their battles to see what the ruckus was about, only to see Xiao Lingyu shatter the glass—which was six-star reinforced glass—with a single punch and directly jump into his aircraft with Lei Jue.

“This… wasn’t the glass perfectly fine a moment ago?!” Lu Sha was astounded by this.

But Lu Xian, Qi Yu, and the others had no words for this scene.

Up until now, they’d been around Xiao Lingyu for almost half of their lives. But they’d never seen him as panicked as this.

Insane. He had gone insane.

He Yunshu also saw Lei Jue’s condition. She paled, perhaps from the shock, or perhaps from something else.

Lu Xian and Si Qing glanced at her, their foreheads gently creasing in worry.

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