No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 50: Departure
Zhong Yan was alone when he had arrived, and he didn’t have any luggage or anything. But when he left, he packed two boxes.
“Take away the kitchen utensils you bought as well.” Adrian leaned on the wall and said, “I don’t cook.”
“I don’t cook either,” Zhong Yan responded. The palm-sized rabbit was sitting on his shoulder, and the white furball was especially eye-catching against his black suit.
Only then did Adrian remember that Zhong Yan didn’t cook when he was by himself.
Zhong Yan gave his boxes one last check to see if he missed anything.
Adrian couldn’t understand why he had to. He felt that it was fine even if he left something behind. He had only bought those clothes and daily necessities after coming here anyway. But he couldn’t say that. He knew that Zhong Yan had always been very anxious and obsessive about these small things that seemed completely irrelevant to him. For example, he couldn’t stand seeing people, which mostly referred to Adrian, with wrinkled clothes, a flipped collar, or casually tossing stuff around. As long as he saw it, he would personally correct it. For example, right before the exams, even if he was clearly the one with the best grades, he would still feel that he hadn’t studied enough, and would nervously review madly.
Zhong Yan had already packed up yesterday when he was home. Seeing that Zhong Yan was busy with the other box, he casually opened the remaining one as well.
Only after opening the box did Adrian realize that this was the cleaning robot’s box. The inside was lined with the brightly colored blanket, and there were also some strange things and some bags of food packed inside.
“What’s all this in here?” Adrian pulled out an unidentified pink bag and saw some words written in a soft girly font: Healthy Food for Pet Bunny.
As a soldier who spent most of his days with his blade dripping with blood, the mental impact he received from this sight caused his hands to loosen, and the pink bag of rabbit food fell back into the box.
“How could shops in Navi sell stuff like this?” Adrian asked in disbelief.
Zhong Yan’s long trip syndrome was starting again. He was tiring himself over checking the inventory of his luggage, and nervously recalling whether he left anything or not, so he didn’t pay much attention to Adrian. He heard him talk, and absentmindedly asked, “What…?”
Saying that, he raised his head to take a glance; then, he couldn’t stay calm anymore.
“Why did you open that box?! It took me so much work to pack it!” He picked up the small packing device on the side and with a headache, drove away the troublemaker. “Don’t you have anything else to do? Why don’t you go and feed the rabbit in the backyard?”
Adrian closed the lid awkwardly and took a step back, but his mouth refused to back down so easily. “So what if I open your box? It was my box to begin with. What’s more, what am I going to do with the cleaning robot if you take this box away? Do you expect me to turn the robot on and off manually every single day?”
“I asked you a few days ago, didn’t you say I could use it? Right, you should take this chance to buy a new cleaning robot.” While resealing the box, Zhong Yan said, “I told you when I just arrived, there’s a problem with your cleaning robot’s programming. There’s a lot of places it doesn’t clean properly. This rabbit likes this box a lot, so I don’t want to move it to a different nest.”
After packing up the two boxes, he straightened his body. Just then, he felt a discomfort in his waist that he had never felt in his life, and nearly toppled over. Thankfully, Adrian had quick reflexes and caught him at the waist.
“Thanks,” he said under his breath, then pushed his hand away after steadying himself.
Fortunately, both of them managed to retain their senses yesterday, and still had some sense of restraint, so they didn’t actually spend all night indulging themselves.
Adrian pursed his lips and did not speak. Before the sun came out, they had already agreed that what happened that night would be left in the dark; when the sun comes out, everything will go back to normal.
This was the best choice. He told himself that this was the most mature way to deal with this. But the right thing that was determined by reason could not always be accepted by one’s emotions. For example, right now, a strong sense of dissatisfaction had built up inside of Adrian from the fact that Zhong Yan was going to leave.
It felt just like watching with your own eyes as your own belongings disappeared, but he was also clear that this was the right choice.
Adrian had long realized Zhong Yan’s cold-blooded nature. Even at the critical moment, his emotions would not drag him down. If there was anything he wanted, he could give up anything for the sake of it—even if it was something important to him. This was how Adrian had been abandoned by him once in the past, so even if it hurts just the same, he could still be as harsh on himself as he was on others.
Such people are often able to achieve great things. Just from among their peers alone, Zhong Yan has indeed obtained great achievements.
And today, he still acted as he usually did, as if that encounter last night did not really happen at all. Adrian couldn’t help some of those old memories of the past from resurfacing. To him, this felt just like…this person had abandoned him once more.
“Oh, right,” Zhong Yan suddenly spoke, “I nearly forgot. You’re paying the fines this afternoon, right?”
“Right.” Adrian could not hold back the negative emotions within his heart, and his voice was laced with ridicule. “But don’t worry, you’re the last person I want to marry, so I’ve already set up a timed transfer. The payment will definitely be made before the deadline.”
Adrian’s attitude towards him had loosened up in these recent days, but it suddenly turned awful towards him again. Zhong Yan looked at him a little inexplicably and attributed this to his disgust towards the idea of their marriage.
Zhong Yan turned on his own terminal and pressed a few buttons. Following that, the bell of a prompt could be heard from Adrian’s terminal. He opened the message he had just received, only to see a notice that said: Notice of change in divorce penalty fee amount.
“I refused it,” Zhong Yan said, “I know you don’t care about the money, but it’s still better to save wherever you can. Why should you give money to ‘Butterfly’ anyway? The base penalty amount is around eighty thousand, so I’ll pay forty thousand from my side later. You just have to pay the remaining half.”
“No need, just take the forty thousand as my donation to ‘Specimen’.”
Zhong Yan paused for a moment. “You’re going to have to change the transfer amount anyway, so we should just pay half-half.”
“Well, aren’t you being pretty generous right now?” Adrian showed no appreciation towards him. “If you would’ve done this sooner, we could’ve avoided all those problems.”
“I never planned to advance the plan so quickly. I was thinking of planning it out a bit more when I returned. These days, if it weren’t for…that thing of yours being rushed and all, I would’ve advanced it as soon as I felt that the time was right.”
“What do you mean my thing?” Adrian was dissatisfied. “You think that’s all my own business? You think I can pop out a baby by myself?”
“Alright.” Zhong Yan had finished arranging his boxes properly. “Let’s go.”
He brought his suitcase towards the back, while Adrian moved the cleaning robot’s box. With one in front and the other at the back, Zhong Yan had already walked through that door, but he did not have any intentions of turning around to look at the house he lived in for the past half month.
“Zhong Yan,” Adrian called out to him from behind the door.
Zhong Yan turned his face to the side and asked, “What?”
“What…did yesterday mean for you?” Adrian tried to control his voice and did his best not to sound like a formerly pure virgin trying to come to terms with their first morning after, even though he really was one just last night.
But Zhong Yan was clearly one too! How could he not care at all?
Zhong Yan lowered his gaze. “Didn’t we agree to not bring this up after sunrise?”
“Just this once,” Adrian insisted. “Once I come out this door, we will no longer have the chance to speak alone.” And perhaps, that might be true for the rest of their lives.
Zhong Yan closed his eyes. What did yesterday night mean for him?
A moment of indulgence he had snatched from the gods of destiny, to be hidden within layers after layers of locks within the deepest consciousness of his memories.
He opened his eyes and curved his lips into a smile. “…There’s no meaning to it. Let’s go, your men must be waiting outside.”
Even when they reached White Aegis, Adrian still couldn’t figure out whether Zhong Yan’s words meant that “there’s nothing to talk about with this topic”, or if he meant that…this whole thing in itself had no meaning.
But he had no more chances to ask.
The small spacecraft was parked directly on the Supreme Council’s long-distance ship. As soon as they came down, Intron came to receive them and gave Adrian a formal greeting.
Adrian nodded and said in a lukewarm manner, “Safe travels. Your rabbit is falling off.”
“My…what?” Intron asked in confusion. Only then did he realize that the latter sentence was not directed at him.
A small snow-white rabbit was crouched on top of Zhong Yan’s shoulder. Due to the angle they stood at, he wasn’t able to see it earlier. Half of the rabbit was sliding down Zhong Yan’s shoulder, and since it was too light, Zhong Yan didn’t notice it at all. Now that Adrian mentioned it, he quickly picked up the little rabbit kit that was fast asleep and held it in his hands.
Intron asked in surprise, “Is…this the rabbit that Commander Yate rescued?”
“No, that one I already ate for dinner,” said Adrian with a straight face.
“This is the one.” Zhong Yan was completely unperturbed. “Pass on the order later. Open up that square box, and take everything out besides the blanket, then put the rabbit inside.”
As he was saying that, he shoved the rabbit in his hands to Intron who hurriedly accepted it.
Adrian’s guard came over and said something in his ear.
“Got it,” Adrian said, “I’ll be there.”
Zhong Yan couldn’t help but wonder. Adrian was dressed in casual clothes today, but that was just as usual. Besides the day of the school’s celebration, he had not seen Adrian dressed formally since. But when Adrian’s guard picked them up at his house, he was clearly dressed in a military uniform, but now he had also changed into casual clothes.
Where were they going to go? Was it inconvenient for them to wear their uniforms?
“That old man’s on your ship already,” Adrian told him. “He’s a bit rowdy so we gave him some medicine. He’ll probably be awake in two hours.”
Hearing that, Intron nearly wanted to vomit blood. Even though all three of them knew that Bayer had been forcibly put under house arrest. As the saying goes, even if you wanted to punish a dog, you had to check who the owner was; wasn’t saying this in front of Zhong Yan the equivalent of picking a fight?
But things took an even stranger turn. Not only was Zhong Yan not angry, he even asked, “Is there any for me? Once he starts, he’s even harder to deal with than someone more youthful.”
“Oh, are you planning to throw my grandfather aside soon?”
“Of course not, it’s not time yet. But the old gentleman is too vigorous…You know how he is.”
Holding the rabbit, Intron, for the first time ever, felt like he was lacking in brain cells, and it took him some effort to piece everything together.
Adrian, the core figure of the anti-AI coalition.
Zhong Yan, one of the highest members on the AI’s side.
Himself, the assistant of said highest member on the AI’s side, but was in truth a spy for the anti-AI party.
Adrian knew that he was a spy for the anti-AI.
Zhong Yan thinks that he is his assistant.
Zhong Yan did not know that he and Adrian were in the same camp.
Adrian also knew that Zhong Yan didn’t know that he and Adrian were in the same camp.
So how did these two end up chatting about these things so naturally in front of him?
Before he could figure things out, he heard Zhong Yan say, “Oh right, Intron.”
Intron reflexively responded, “Yes.”
“From today on, I will be your direct confidant.”