Interstellar Power Couple
Quality Check: Lala
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 29 Part 1: Done For
In actuality, Lei Jue had thought about problems which may arise after he had gotten with Xiao Lingyu. But in life, no one could avoid being impulsive at times, especially at his age.
Furthermore, he understood better than anyone that people like Xiao Lingyu, who had several protective layers to them, would be more careful and attentive than the average person when they awkwardly wanted to win someone else’s heart.
This was why he wanted to be with Xiao Lingyu, no matter what the rest of the world thought of their relationship.
Of course, simply standing around philosophizing was also a problem, so he decided to find a way around it.
When Xiao Lingyu got horny, he would be unable to control the metal elemental energy within his body. Lei Jue already knew about this, but wasn’t sure exactly how strong this energy was, only that it was strong enough that Xiao Lingyu didn’t even dare to find a partner.
Lei Jue had originally thought of asking Xiao Lingyu about it, but the matter brought immense stress to Xiao Lingyu himself, so after thinking it over for a while, Lei Jue didn’t ask Xiao Lingyu in the end.
He decided to ask Xiao Lingqi instead.
An opportunity for Lei Jue to meet with Xiao Lingqi coincidentally arose right on time not long after Lei Jue made the decision to find him.
After ‘Plan A3’ had been activated, apart from the first twenty-four hours, which were especially torturous, it got much better, so Xiao Lingyu suggested they go back to Xiao Lingqi’s lab. Since Lei Jue didn’t find it a bother to get an examination, he went along with it. While on the way to the lab, he’d been thinking about how to shake Xiao Lingyu off so he could ask Eldest Brother about the matter, but then the opportunity presented itself on its own.
Shortly after Xiao Lingyu had sent him to his destination, Lu Xian and Si Qing popped up, saying that they’d found more details about something, but there was a problem that couldn’t be resolved and they needed Xiao Lingyu’s help.
From the lab, Lei Jue saw Xiao Lingyu board Lu Xian’s aircraft, while the aircraft that Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue had flown to the lab remained parked by the main entrance of the building. He sent a voice message to Xiao Lingyu, asking, “Why’d you leave the aircraft behind?”
Xiao Lingyu quickly replied, “You’ll know when you see it.”
Lei Jue couldn’t understand the meaning behind Xiao Lingyu’s words, but less than two seconds later he saw Xiao Lingyu’s aircraft rise into the air over its original spot. When it was finally hovering about ten meters off the ground, it suddenly transformed into a robot. Then the robot raised its massive, sturdy hands and arranged them in a heart shape and flashed it in his direction.
Xiao Lingyu sent yet another message, “I left it behind to protect you.”
Lei Jue smiled, then replied, “Go through your pockets.”
Xiao Lingyu did just that and found a snow-capped jadewing in one of his pockets. “What is the meaning of this?”
Lei Jue fired back with, “To monitor you.”
Lu Xian was speechless as he watched Xiao Lingyu, who’d suddenly started smiling like an idiot for some unknown reason. “Lingyu, can you please stop being like this? You’re staring at a tiny bird that’s no taller than your finger with a stupid infatuated look on your face. As your bro, I’m truly somewhat worried for you .”
Si Qing was at a loss for words as well. “Where’d that come from?”
Xiao Lingyu gave a light cough and gently raised his hand, letting the bird fly onto his shoulder. “It’s the overseer Lei Jue sent. Don’t take him lightly; the bird’s a high-ranking official.”
Lu Xian’s expression showed that he found this situation unbearable. “It’s just a bird, how can it of that much use? I think he sent the bird just so you’ll think of him when you see it.”
Xiao Lingyu thought that what he said had some merit to it, so he didn’t protest.
Seeing that he had gotten no new replies, Lei Jue went and laid down on the examination table.
Xiao Lingqi saw this and said, “It looks like you’re recovering well.”
Lei Jue didn’t have the nerve to mention that he’d been excited to see a real-life version of a Transformer. After he laid down, he voiced his thoughts, “Big Brother, I have a question I’d like to ask you.”
“What is it?” Xiao Lingqi chuckled. “Is it about Lingyu?”
“How did you guess?” Lei Jue was bewildered.
“Lingyu told me.” Xiao Lingqi activated the exam table. “He said you might have some questions for me that I may answer like an unending answering machine.”
Lei Jue was left speechless by this. He suddenly didn’t feel like asking questions any longer. This Xiao Lingyu… since he already knew what Lei Jue was about to ask, why didn’t he just say it straight to his face?!
Perhaps Xiao Lingqi could see what Lei Jue was thinking about, but even though Lei Jue hadn’t made a sound, he began speaking anyway.
It turned out that Xiao Lingyu was like Lei Jue, in that they both discovered their elemental abilities later in life. At the time, Xiao Lingyu was twelve years old and the family had long since believed that there wouldn’t be a metal elemental ability user in his generation. However, they never could have imagined that Xiao Lingyu would crush that conclusion to pieces after an accident.
Xiao Lingyu had accidentally caused the death of his younger cousin. To be specific, it was his elemental ability that caused his cousin’s death.
Luo Fei was the cousin’s name. He was around the same age as Xiao Lingyu, and was the son of Xiao Lingyu’s maternal uncle. They’d played together plenty of times when they were little. That time in particular, they’d met during winter break, like they had countless times before, and went to the mountains together. Because Luo Fei never saw snow at all during any of the four seasons where he lived, he was excited at the sight of the white slopes. However, what Xiao Lingyu hadn’t expected was that when they went out together for a typical play outing, only he himself would return.
Mount Huntmaster in the Northern Ling District was perpetually covered with snow all year round. It was an inhospitable place with barely any signs of people, and all you could see was white.
No one would come, and since there was no foliage, it was absolutely freezing. To top it off, since snow was everywhere, if you weren’t wearing special sunglasses, you could become snowblind simply by taking a short hike.
Luo Fei had said he wanted to build a snowman that reached three meters tall, so they used the aircraft that they’d ridden here to do that.
However, they didn’t get to finish building that snowman, because just when they’d completed the body, Luo Fei’s attention was drawn to a snow leopard. Xiao Lingyu only looked away for a split second, but Luo Fei had already run far away from where they originally were. But since he saw that he was nearly done with the snowman’s head, and—he thought—there weren’t any large animals prowling around the mountain, Xiao Lingyu wasn’t in a rush to chase after his cousin.
Shortly after that, he heard Luo Fei’s terrified screams coming from a distance.
Xiao Lingyu flung down the snow in his arms and madly ran toward Luo Fei. The aircraft they’d flown to the mountain in had a warm-up period, so he was worried that if he dawdled a bit more he wouldn’t be able to help his cousin. Despite that, he still saw a scene he’d never forget: seven or eight grey arctic wolves were circling Luo Fei, whose arm had already been torn off in gory fashion.
Xiao Lingyu didn’t know how a child who was only twelve was supposed to react when faced with mortal danger, but he charged forward anyway without any extra thought. He only knew that if he didn’t help, the cousin who’d played with him since they were young boys would die right there. That was why he wrestled those wolves with all his might.
However, true to what he had told Lei Jue, a B-rank fire user and a person with a C-rank physique would struggle with raising an arctic grey wolf, so two children with only above average stamina stood absolutely no chance when facing down an entire pack of them.
Xiao Lingyu only had a single thought at that time: he had to take Luo Fei and run.
However, when he managed to touch Luo Fei’s shirt, the alpha wolf had pounced toward him, and in the split-second that his eyes met the wolf’s, his power finally awakened. Perhaps it was caused by the bone-deep terror and fear he felt, or perhaps his power had just finally come out of dormancy, but for the first time ever, he used the metal elemental power he thought he’d never wield no matter how hard he wished for it.
Abnormally strong currents of electricity shot out of him, scorching all of his surroundings to ashes.
Xiao Lingyu was forced to helplessly watch with his own two eyes as the pack of wolves and Luo Fei died before him. Luo Fei hadn’t even had time for his expression to morph into another. Fear and pain were etched on his face as he left the world forever.
The scene was like a brand that was well and truly burned into Xiao Lingyu’s memory.
From that day onward, although he did have immense, S-plus-rank power, he could never, ever use it. It was only during moments when he was relaxed that he would unconsciously manifest some pitiful wisps of energy that wasn’t even proportional to his true strength.
However, even so, it was still a trauma so powerful that no person could possibly hope to withstand it.
Lei Jue wiped his face with far more force than necessary as he recalled Xiao Lingyu’s silence when he’d mentioned that he wanted to raise a grey arctic wolf. And that callous expression Xiao Lingyu had when he said that the only animal greater than the grey arctic wolf was Xiao Lingyu’s father… it had seemed like a throwaway line at the time, but he’d purposely been smothering that horrible memory with fake cheer.
The atmosphere in the lab suddenly became so unbearably suffocating that even when the results showed that the dot of light in Lei Jue’s brain had dulled, it still wasn’t enough to lighten the mood.
“Was that why Big Sister decided to study psychology, and why you studied biomedical science?”
“That’s right. It’s just that even after all our effort over all these years, we still couldn’t help Little Fifth.” Defeat was written all over Xiao Lingqi’s face. “Actually, the reason your Second Brother studied design was to make an aircraft—or should I say, mecha—with faster start-up times and better safety and emergency response capabilities for Little Fifth. That’s because after that year, Little Fifth simply changed too much. He thought that if it hadn’t been for his power’s uncontrolled awakening, perhaps Luo Fei wouldn’t have died. Even if he’d been heavily injured, we could just ask Elder Ming to come heal him. However, these are all only ‘what-ifs’.”
“You all did what you could.” Lei Jue felt like there was something weighing down his heart. He didn’t know what to say to Xiao Lingqi.
“Little Jue, you and Little Fifth…” Xiao Lingqi didn’t seem to know how he should phrase his question, but since he basically almost never returned home—staying cooped up in his lab, instead—he wasn’t exactly sure about the developments in Lei Jue’s relationship with his younger brother. Since his brother could bring himself to tell such a big incident to Lei Jue, their relationship was perhaps not as simple as just playing pretend.
“He and I…” Lei Jue coughed lightly. “He and I have a large amount of interest in each other.” This was a more elegant way to describe it. To put it in actual words, however, the two of them were just a hair’s breadth away from jumping each other’s bones.
“Thank you, Little Jue. Truly.” A hint of a smile finally crept onto Xiao Lingqi’s face. “Ever since you came here, the household has really changed so much, and Little Fifth is much happier than ever. Back then, he seldom spoke at home, but after you arrived, he… in any case, the burdens that Little Fifth had to bear were heavy. And you… maybe I’m being a bit selfish by saying this, but if you can, please spend more time with him.”
“You’re being too serious, Big Brother. Lingyu and I are lovers, it’s no trouble to spend time with him.” Lei Jue gestured at the exam results. “Tell me how my exam went.”
The results showed that the dot of light in Lei Jue’s brain had dimmed. In Xiao Lingqi’s words, if things continued the way they were, there was no doubt it was just an extra layer of reinforced memories. As time went on, it would slowly fade away, and one day they would become a bunch of false data that was no different from normal memories.
Lei Jue was satisfied with this answer, and asked Xiao Lingqi how his body was now as compared to earlier.
Ever since the wedding, he’d been hard at work, training his body. He felt a fair bit sturdier and stronger than when he first began. Even if it was just a little bit, modern technology should still be able to detect that minute change.
Xiao Lingqi took a look at the data and nodded. “Indeed, you’re stronger than before.”
Oh that’s good, Lei Jue thought to himself, then thanked Xiao Lingqi. Then he sent a message to Xiao Lingyu, “I’m done with my checkup, everything is good. Are you done with your errand yet?”
Xiao Lingyu hadn’t finished his errand yet—at that moment, he was still talking with Lu Xuan and the others.
“Are you sure the person He Yunshu met before is already dead?”