No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 31: Backing Out
After eating some of the small chocolate cake, only half of the heart was left. The break at the center was smooth and neat, so much so that those who did not know would have thought it had been cut with a knife.
When in fact, Zhong Yan had eaten with a spoon.
Biting on to the spoon, he was enraptured by the half a heart that was left over, and stared at it with desire for a long time; but in the end, he still carefully refolded the cake box, and brought the cake to the refrigerator.
Adrian was looking through some documents on the living room sofa when he saw Zhong Yan walking out with the cake box. He thought he was going to throw the box out after finishing the cake, but he did not expect to hear him opening the fridge door and gently putting the cake inside.
“What are you doing?” Adrian asked casually.
“There’s still half left. I’m putting it in the fridge.”
Adrian looked up from his military documents and looked at Zhong Yan in amazement. This was the first time he had seen Zhong Yan leave part of a cake behind. Did he really eat too much during lunch? But he did not give him a lot.
“You can’t even finish a cake that size?”
“It’s not that…”Zhong Yan paused, and continued in a whisper, “I’m putting it in the refrigerator so I can eat it tomorrow.”
This was the cake specially brought back by Adrian. In the past, Adrian would always bring a cake back for him at the dormitory; but now…he would probably only receive such treatment when he was sick. If he left half for tomorrow, he could pretend that Adrian bought him cake twice.
Adrian felt suspicious. “Just eat it if you can finish it. Why wait till tomorrow? It won’t taste good overnight.”
Zhong Yan did not know how he should respond to him. Those thoughts of his were things he could never say. It would be bad if he made Adrian angry now, so he could only vaguely say, “If I eat it today, then…there won’t be any tomorrow.”
“It’s not like I took away your terminal, can’t you just buy it from a dessert shop nearby?” Adrian could hardly understand him, but then he realized something. “Oh, you don’t know the address of this house, do you?”
The online virtual community had already become a second full-fledged society after the real world. Practically all physical stores could be found on the internet. After ordering takeout, unmanned drones would be sent to the receiving platforms left out by each house. That was how Adrian ordered dinner yesterday.
But the cake he bought himself would be different from this cake.
Zhong Yan said, “It’s alright, I like this piece…I mean, this type.”
The chocolate cake looked unbearably sweet. Once again, Adrian had reached a new understanding of Zhong Yan’s love for sweets, and even thought he finally understood the reason why he could not bear to finish it—the headquarter’s dining hall was, in fact, not open to the public.
“Just eat it.” Adrian immersed himself in work once more, and casually said, “I’ll bring you a new one when I go back to work.”
Wei Lan had left behind detailed instructions for his recovery. Zhong Yan was being surprisingly obedient, doing whatever it was he asked from him. On the third day, he seemed to have recovered back to normal, but Adrian felt that his mental state was quite terrible.
Compared to the previous two days, Zhong Yan had clearly fallen into a pit of depression. Most of the time, they would be working on their own personal terminals, and would occasionally bump into each other in the house. Adrian kept having the feeling that those beautiful phoenix eyes had lost their luster.
Adrian was even faintly regretting telling him about that matter. Zhong Yan’s reaction was far worse than he expected; just for the sake of seeing what the ring looked like, he even dared to jump into a pond in the middle of a cold winter night. Adrian changed his room to the first floor as a safety precaution, but he still could not be at ease.
And so, on that morning, Adrian locked all the doors and windows before heading out. After thinking about it again, he decided to take the knives and tools from the kitchen with him too.
He had promised Zhong Yan that he would bring him back a cake when he returned to headquarters. After settling his official business of the day, Adrian was just preparing to head to the dining hall early to buy a cake to bring home, but someone stopped him at the door of his office.
“Hey buddy, don’t be in such a hurry,” Fayn pushed Adrian back into the office and shut the door behind him. “I just came out of the medical office and I wanted to have a chat with you.”
When he heard him mention the medical office, Adrian responded immediately with, “Oh right, I have something I want to talk to you about too.”
Fayn went straight into it. “What did you say to the doctor?”
Adrian was dissatisfied. “Why won’t you ask what he said to me instead?”
“What did he say to you?”
“He told me right to my face that Zhong Yan won’t be living long. Do people normally say that?” Adrian went on, “But that’s Wei Lan after all, he saved your life and I wanted to give you face. I would’ve started on him if he was any other doctor.”
When Wei Lan was still a low-level medic, he had once went on an assault with Fayn. At that time, Fayn had gotten gravely injured in order to cover for his teammates, and everyone thought he could not be saved. The conditions were bad, and the medics in the team did not dare to take the risk for surgery either. Adrian had just been promoted at the time, and everyone knew that this new adjutant was the most loyal and trusted friend to their new chief commander; in the case that the surgery fails and he could not be saved, they would have to take on the wrath of their new commander. Wei Lan was the only man who said he could save him after looking at him.
The other medics reminded him of the man’s status, but Wei Lan could not understand. “What does this have to do with his status? He will die if we don’t perform surgery now, so why shouldn’t we do it if there’s a possibility for him to live if we do?”
Nobody dared to help him, so he used his simple medical equipment to perform the surgery alone on the warship that was still flying across the battlefield. Fayn was also a tenacious man, so they actually managed to succeed.
After they returned to headquarters, Adrian was furious, and with this incident as the main reason, he replaced the entire top rung of the medical department, and directly appointed Wei Lan as the new chief medical officer, forming a new medical team with the younger subordinates of the department.
After Fayn’s recovery, he became the no.1 braindead fan of the newly appointed chief medical officer, and could not stand having anyone speaking badly of Wei Lan. The entire military command raged at the chief medical officer, but they did not dare to voice it out. Half of them were indeed respectful of the chief medical officer’s immaculate skills in medicine, but the other half…
“You call that not starting on him? You told him he was too blunt!.” Fayn was pointing fingers out of grief, “Doctors are different from us, they’re precious! You can’t just scold him as you please! What if he gets traumatized? You’ll rarely find an honest doctor like Wei Lan in this era! Why did you have to completely rectify the medical office in the past? Isn’t it because of those corrupt medics who only know how to escape their responsibilities for their own selfish gains without any shame? Wei Lan is a forthright man, you’re trying to corrupt our chief medical officer!”
Adrian watched speechless as Fayn’s words escalated higher and higher. In just a few moments, his comments to Wei Lan was already close to affecting their great human renaissance cause.
No wonder those soldiers would always choose to complain specifically to him when it came to Wei Lan, they can never mention it to the adjutant.
Adrian cut him off immediately. “I was wrong, I shouldn’t have disrespected the medical officer, and I am reflecting deeply on my actions. Please let me go, I really am busy right now.”
“That’s better.” Fayn was finally satisfied. He hooked his arm around Adrian’s shoulder and said, “We haven’t received the intelligence report from the capital yet, so it’s rare that we’re free these days. Do you have anything going on? Come on, let’s go eat dinner.”
“No thanks, I’ll be leaving after I pick something up from the dining hall.”
“Oh…” Fayn dragged his words in an ambiguous manner, “Rushing home? Is that guy better yet?”
Adrian stopped in his steps. “How did you know he isn’t well?”
“The entire headquarters knows!” said Fayn. “On the second day of the special commissioner’s stay in your home, the medical officer was urgently summoned there, so people asked him when he returned, and he said that doctors could not disclose private information about his patients. Nobody could pry a single word from him. Most everyone thought that you finally couldn’t stand it anymore and beat Mr. Who’sit in your own home, but then you ended up staying away from headquarters for two days, so all sorts of rumors are floating out there right now.”
“Are you lot that idle? Is the daily training not enough to shut your mouths?”
The two reached the elevator while chatting. They were just in time to bump into the liaison officer who had just come out.
Commander, I was just about to look for you! Ah, the adjutant is here as well, that’s good. I have news from the capital.”
Both Fayn and Adrian looked serious. Fayn asked, “Is the report confirmed? The AI…”
“Uh, it’s not about the AI. About ‘Butterfly’, our men in the capital have already gotten in contact with that specimen store, and they are urgently trying to confirm it now.” The liaison officer added, “We have news about the matter you asked us to investigate after that.”
The other one he asked for…
Adrian said, “Come with me to my office.”
Fayn could see the faint look of unease on the liaison officer’s face, and his heart jumped. He asked as soon as they entered the office. “What happened? Is that guy really in collusion with Bard Pearson?”
“Based on the information we have, he should not be.”
Fayn said, “Then isn’t that fine?”
“But…” The liaison officer felt awkward, “The special commissioner…He was indeed at Pearson’s side for the two years after his graduation, but for some reason, he suddenly backed off in the third year.”
“So there’s that too, huh?” Fayn was stunned. “So he can still raise the waves in the Supreme Council even after falling out with Pearson?”
The liaison officer shook his head and said, “That wasn’t the case. Because of that, his political situation in the Supreme Council was not ideal, so he could only participate in some marginal work and promote things such as the ‘Giant Space Rabbits Hunting Law’ and whatnot. He didn’t have much actual power. Until he and…um…Councilor Yate formed a party did he finally have the opportunity to turn himself around. Later, it was under Councilor Yate’s help that he managed to be elected as a representative councilor. This old matter was not particularly hidden, so many senior officials in the Supreme Council know about it, and we were able to find out about it after some inquiry. When the special commissioner graduated, he was taken by Councilor Pearson into his team, and he had given him many resources. From the looks of it, he was going to support him pretty strongly, but nobody knew what happened to them two years later, nor did they know if it was Councilor Pearson who kicked him out, or if was he the one who insisted on walking out on him.”
Adrian had a grave look on his face; his expectations had come true. Between the giants Bard Pearson and Stalvern Yate, Zhong Yan had indeed preferred Pearson during that time. However, what could have happened that year for Zhong Yan to be willing to face the pressure of Pearson suppressing and getting revenge on him for the sake of heading down this ship towards the pinnacle of power?