No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 17: Strip
“Who are you? How’d you get in?” The boss’ right-hand man sitting beside him shouted.
Adrian pulled back the hood he was wearing for camouflage. The man’s question did not bother him at all, neither did all the guns that were pointing towards him; he stared only at Zhong Yan and said, “Come here.”
Without even a moment of hesitation, Zhong Yan obeyed his order and ran towards Adrian. Someone shouted for him to stop and turned his gun to him, but he did not stop. He knew that Adrian would take care of him. The only thing he heard was two bangs when two of the guns pointed readily towards Zhong Yan flew out from the pirates’ hands.
The deterring power of his technique was clear to see. Even if the two pirates were unharmed, it was a perfect show of the man’s precision and skill. For a moment, nobody dared to make any moves, but Zhong Yan had already reached Adrian in a few quick seconds.
“You’re really f*cking good at starting trouble,” Adrian shot fiercely at him, “I’ll deal with you later.”
Zhong Yan’s arm was caught by Adrian’s rough grasp, and he was pulled over to him with a tug. It was obvious that Adrian did not loosen his grip. He could feel the pain of his fingers digging into his arm, but he did not ask him to let go. In a soft voice, he contended, “How is this my fault? I was even starting to wonder whether it was you who sent the pirates.”
Adrian was so pissed that he could practically drop dead. “Would I need to hire a bunch of pirates to stop you? With your pitiful ship and your useless security team…”
“That ship isn’t pitiful. It’s the latest design and it cost a lot. Have you received my men?”
“Like hell I would!”
“Hey, listen.” The head of the space pirates sitting at the top spoke with a face red with anger when he saw the two of them arguing. “How long are you planning to flirt around for?”
One of the lackeys from outside the hall quickly stumbled into the room. He kneeled down with his head plastered to the floor and shouted, “Boss! What he said was true! We—we’re surrounded by the Navi Military Command’s warships! Their men are boarding the ship, and our security doors have already been broken—ah!”
The man who came after him gave the back of the lackey a hefty kick. It was a young Navi military officer. He looked towards Adrian and said, “Boss, we’ve taken over the security doors, should we search…oh, you’ve already found the special commissioner?”
Adrian responded, “Did you lot get lost on the way or something? You’re so slow.”
“The single-seater you left in was the fastest, and the speed is almost twice that of a large warship. We’ve already rushed over in the fastest speed we can.” The officer was helpless.
“Go.” With his gun in one hand and Zhong Yan the other, Adrian was just about to leave when he heard the head of the pirates shout, “Hold it right there!”
Adrian was getting impatient. “Speak quickly, I’m in a hurry.”
The leader stood up and walked slowly down the steps towards the center of the hall. He was a tall man whose body exuded an aura of bloodthirst that put tingles on ones’ scalp when they faced him. Adrian took a half step forward and covered Zhong Yan behind him.
“What will I do with my reputation if I let you waltz off just like that? What’s this pretty boy to you?”
“None of your business,” Adrian spat out.
The space pirate laughed. “I can tell even if you don’t say it. I was just thinking the two of you were pretty familiar a while ago, but sure enough, looking at you now, you’ve got those hateful silver eyes. You’re Adrian Yate.”
He came closer and closer. Previously, his face that could not be clearly seen from their distance was fully revealed under the lights. Actually, he had the face of a man full of charm, but it was only destroyed by the long scar on it as well as his fierce temper. As Zhong Yan looked at him, a look of disbelief started to emerge on his face.
Adrian responded, “That’s right, it’s me, your daddy. My boys have you surrounded, so do you really think you can stop me?—What’re you doing?”
He was only able to finish half of what he wanted to say before Zhong Yan began tugging at his clothes from behind. Impatiently, he turned around towards the person at his side. “Save it for later, can’t you see the situation right now?”
“You can use your heavy weapons to turn us all into dust later,” the head of the space pirates started to laugh like a maniac, “but if you’re gonna just swagger out of here like this, you’re gonna have to wait till I strip your skin!”
Space pirates were loyal to their code and had no fear of death. Adrian had personally dealt with more than a few space pirate crews, so he was very clear on how these gangs operated. Hearing what he said, he also started to laugh. “Great, then let’s go by your rules—I’ll fight you one-on-one, and if I win, I’ll be taking him…What’re you doing?!”
Zhong Yan was desperately tugging at his clothes from behind, and in a fit of anger, Adrian pulled his clothes free from his hands. Zhong Yan had an awkward expression on his face, but he didn’t feel like talking about it in public, so he whispered to him, “Wait, don’t fight with him first, I need to tell you something…”
“Whatever it is, you can tell me when the fight’s over!”
“No! I have to tell you right now!” Zhong Yan looked a little anxious, and clearly only both the opposing head and him realized this; but since the other party had no intention of saying it, he would have to speak up.
Adrian wasn’t listening to him at all, but Zhong Yan could not be bothered about that right now. He got up on the balls of his feet and tried to climb his way up Adrian’s arm to reach his ear. Zhong Yan’s voice was very light, but to Adrian, it felt like a crack of thunder.
Zhong Yan said, “I think that person is…your father.”
Half an hour later, Warship Infirmary.
The space pirates’ ship had already been completely taken over by Navi’s troops. Since their leader had been defeated by the general commander of the Navi Military Command, the group of pirates were not too upset about it, and there was no serious conflict. Adrian had come out in a hurry this time around and didn’t bring any medical staff with him. At this moment, everyone was busy, so Zhong Yan could only harden his wits and head over himself.
“Mr. Parrett, please raise your hand.”
Parrett raised a brow at him. “You know my name? Did that brat tell you? I heard you’re married.”
“Not yet.” Zhong Yan fixed up his arm with a splint and continued. “It seems you’re not completely out of the loop with the news. You must have known he was in Navi this whole time, right? Why didn’t you…”
“Why what? Why didn’t I look for him? Why didn’t I reconcile with him?”
Zhong Yan remained silent. It was very clear that that was exactly what he meant.
Parrett sneered. “And what would I do that for? So that I can fight the AI with him? And what?”
Zhong Yan responded coldly. “He’s your biological son.”
Before telling him about Vahl’s story, Adrian had once told Zhong Yan about his so-called father who had abandoned his pregnant mother and ran off to Navi. Unlike Stalvern, Adrian certainly believed that this man who abandoned his pregnant wife was a scumbag, but his feelings towards him could still not be considered hate.
“My mother didn’t expect me to be born, and she’s never taken care of me. He’s not much different from her. Anyway, they’re the same as me; we’re only victims. If there is a possibility, I still hope that I can see him once, just to see what kind of person he is.”
He did not say it himself, but Zhong Yan could tell from his words that the young Adrian had many fantasies and expectations towards his father, but this man in front of him had never thought about acknowledging his own son.
Zhong Yan did not wish to stay here any longer, so he said, “It’s done. I’m not a professional, so you should look for a doctor when you reach Navi.”
A cold glint of hate could be seen in Parrett’s eyes as he snorted, “Son? Hah, are you still expecting me to act the role of a father to him now? He’s not my son! Adrian Yate is the shame of my life!”
Adrian’s hand stopped on the handle of the door to the infirmary. He had just finished tying up the loose ends at work, and this was the first thing he heard as he reached the infirmary’s door.
At the age of twenty-seven, he finally met his father, and loudly, his father announced him as his shame.
Suddenly, the sound of a crash could be heard from within; it seemed like the medical equipment inside had fallen over. Adrian was shocked and wanted to open the door, but all he heard was Zhong Yan’s voice as it erupted in anger. “Clearly, you were both victims of a tragedy, but the only thing you can do about it is run away. He rose up and fought against it! If he succeeds, he will be the greatest hero of mankind in his lifetime, but if he fails, the annals would still remember him. In hundreds or thousands of years, people will praise him. Even if he failed, he failed with glory! And you? What do you think your actions are worth?!”
Parrett pounced at him viciously and caught Zhong Yan’s neck with his good hand. At the same time, the door of the infirmary slammed open with a bang. With one punch, Adrian hit him square in the temple, causing his sight to go dark as he was forced to let go.
“You’ve got yourself a wife with a pretty glib tongue.” Parrett sneered at them from the ground.
“Guard! Get in here and keep an eye on him!” While shouting, Adrian dragged Zhong Yan out.
Zhong Yan had been dragged all the way to his temporary office. Adrian slammed the door shut behind him, and with his hand around Zhong Yan’s waist, lifted him up and set him down on the tall office table.
Zhong Yan sat on the desk in disbelief and asked, “What…what are you doing?”
“Shut up! You’re amazing, aren’t you? I left for just a moment and you’ve already gotten yourself in danger!”
As Zhong Yan’s skin was fair, the marks that were left was especially conspicuous. With just that bit of a scuffle, his neck had already reddened up to a shocking sight.
Adrian took his chin and lifted it up before checking his neck with rage filling his eyes.
“It’ll go away after a while.” Zhong Yan felt uneasy and wanted to move his hand away, but he could not succeed. “You nearly beat him into a cripple, I thought…”
“Thought what? Did you think that space pirates are the same as your council people and the like? You think you could reason with them?” Adrian continued in a fit of anger, “Do you think you can just get on a space pirate’s ship as you pleased? Are you trying to play the hero? Aren’t you usually very well-spoken? Couldn’t you have delayed them till I arrived?”
Zhong Yan’s voice was soft. “I never thought you would come.”
The two were silent for a while, and neither of them mentioned Adrian’s father again. Zhong Yan cleared his throat and began, “So, you’ve already met with my subordinates, right? Did they tell you? We…”
“They told me a lot of things.” Adrian cut him off. “For example, they told me you had a portable camcorder hidden inside your clothes.”
Zhong Yan’s eyes widened, but he did not refute him. “These are my casual clothes! They’re not the clothes I prepared to wear when I would meet with you…”
“Who knows about that? Your men said they’re in every one of your clothes.”
“How could my men say such things!”
“Cut the nonsense. I can’t risk taking you into Navi with the threat of you secretly taking footage inside. So, before we land, are you going to strip or do you want me to do it for you?”