From an early age, Zhong Yan knew the importance of power.
He was once adopted by a couple who had tried but failed to produce a child even after a long time. The husband of the couple was the boss of a big local business, and they were considered to be a very wealthy family in the area. He still remembered how jealous all his peers at the orphanage were when he was being adopted.
But, before even a year had passed, his foster mother was pregnant. They paid their fines and gave birth to another child before returning Zhong Yan. It was not until he returned to the orphanage that he found out that his adoptive parents had told them that he had stolen their family belongings, but his adoptive father was a generous man and did not wish to stain the child’s credit record and ruin his life, so they did not report it. Then, an annulment of his adoption was signed with the orphanage.
Somehow or another, word of it had leaked out, and the orphan children were all discussing it. That Zhong Yan who looked the best was a thief, that was why he was returned!
“I did not steal!” At only seven, Zhong Yan’s face was flushed red as he said in agitation, “How could he say that? Let him report it, let ‘Butterfly’ investigate it! I didn’t do it!”
But they all ignored him. The staff grabbed his arm and sent him back to the dormitory. It did not require a very wise mind to understand the situation; they had their own child and chose to abandon their adopted son, but they did not want to be punished, so they could only push the blame onto this parentless child.
Ten years later, Zhong Yan was admitted to the Supreme Institution. The first thing he did when he got away from that little planet was to make a report that the director of the orphanage had received a bribe.
He was the newly promoted champion of the Federation, the most honorable representative of the Supreme Institution’s new students. The speed in which the Capital Star accepted his report was very fast, and in just the second week of school, he received news that the orphanage was seized, and several local giants were also led along.
It was so easy! The mountain he could never push even after exerting all his strength, he was able to topple it with just the swipe of his fingers.
This was his first taste of power in life, and he could not help but share the good news with his roommate. His roommate told him that he should not take what happened in the orphanage as an example, their so-called surveillance system of today was just a way to monitor the civilians. The higher up you were, the more ways you would have to evade it—they could even use the so-called “ubiquitous” artificial intelligence for their own gains.
His roommate was not a supporter of AI. Zhong Yan did not mind this very much, and to be honest, don’t even mention artificial intelligence, even if the one ruling over humans was a gigantic space rabbit, whether the human race was still alive or dead after a hundred years was none of his business as long as he could live a good life.
You could call him heartless or immoral, but he had never been cared for by anyone since he was born, so he would care for no one as well.
But there was no need to tell his new roommate this—even though his roommate came from a big family from the Capital Star, he did not put on airs like all the other pompous young masters, and he was treating him very well instead, even taking him as his good friend.
Nobody had ever been this nice to him, this was the very first friend he had in his life.
But Adrian told him he would no longer be his friend.
Zhong Yan was prostrated dizzily over the stairs, covering his face with his hands as crystalline droplets of liquid seeped through the cracks of his fingers, leaking drop by drop down onto the ground.
In the middle of the night, the sudden sound of footsteps disrupted the silence of the stairwells.
Zhong Yan had an abrupt start, and quickly wiped his face with his sleeves in a hurry before raising his voice to ask: “Who?!”
Those footsteps were completely unaffected by his question and was headed steadily towards him. Zhong Yan felt the subconscious need to hide his sorry cut of a figure, but he had no strength left in his body, so he could only watch with eyes wide as that person slowly appeared in his sights—
It was true that Adrian had never seen this side of Zhong Yan. He was crumbled down onto the ground powerlessly, his complexion sickly, and his beautiful phoenix eyes were glazed with tears as its surroundings were circled with red.
Adrian spoke with a little unease, “I haven’t even started crying yet, so what are you crying about?”
“I’m not crying,” Zhong Yan denied.
Adrian glared at him, and for a moment, he could not find what to say. After a long while, he started again, “Are your assistants dead or what? Tell them to pick you up.”
“I’m fine, I’ll return after I sit for a while.”
Calm down, calm down, don’t get angry, Adrian tried to urge himself; it’s not as if you don’t know what this guy’s virtues are like.
“Are you not going to contact your men?” He asked again after suppressing his temper.
Zhong Yan’s entire body was feeling chilly, and it was so cold that he was nearly on the verge of shaking. He could wish for nothing more than for Adrian to leave quickly so that he would not have to see this side of him. He insisted, “I’m fine.”
“Fine, I’m contacting my men.”
“Wha…” Before Zhong Yan could finish, Adrian had violently covered him with his coat, and he was suddenly lifted up. He was so shocked that he subconsciously reached out and wrapped his arms around his neck—he was being carried like a princess.
Fayn has had a very mentally exhausting day today.
He knew that explosions would light up as soon as Adrian and Zhong Yan were to meet, but he still underestimated the ability of the two in causing trouble. He never would have expected them to create so much news in just a short half day. The virtual community was like a carnival right now, and just thinking about people from different time zones waking up to it, the heat would definitely be here to stay for a while…
Well, they can say whatever they want, this thrilling day was finally over.
But this was not all bad; with everyone’s attention was focused on the pair of enemies, the true purpose of their ensignment to the Institutional Star would be concealed.
While Fayn was still trying to comfort himself in these trying times, an image suddenly popped up from his terminal—Adrian was requesting a voice call.
“Commander, that was a mighty long walk you’ve had, are you ready to return?”
“Yeah, I’m on the way.”
“Alright, I’ll tell the crew to prepare for…”
“Hold on, don’t return for now. Go inform the medical officer…Stop moving!”
Fayn asked in confusion, “What? But I’m not moving?”
“I’m not talking about you!” A spark of rage could be heard in Adrian’s voice. “There’s a camera just ten meters away, if you move again I’m throwing you over there, wanna give it a go?”
Fayn’s drowsiness flew away in an instant, and he probed with excitement. “Wow! And here I was wondering what you’re doing out there in the middle of the night. Who are you with? A junior sister? I thought we were friends, why didn’t you invite me as well?”
“Scram. Tell the medical officer to prepare a bed, empty the office, and remove all the video and audio surveillance equipment.”
“What? And you’re bringing her back too?” Fayn was shocked. “And you want to use the bed in the clinic? So exciting?”
Adrian howled, “What kind of rubbish are you thinking about! Tell the medical officer to stand by in the clinic!”
Saying that, he hung up.
Fayn pondered on his own for a moment. From his tone, Adrian sounded very angry, and not hurt; most likely, the one who’s hurt must be his opponent. But it’s the middle of the night, how hurt could he be?
Adrian had also specifically emphasized the removal of internal surveillance equipment from the warship’s clinical ward…
Fayn felt that he had a complete understanding of his superior’s words now, so he quickly rushed off to shake the medical officer from his bed.
“You’re finally back, the medical officer has been waiting for a long…time…” Before Fayn could finish, his eyes widened in astonishment.
Adrian walked in from the security door, and there was a man in his arms—but that was not the main point. He knew the inside story of what happened in the past, so Fayn was not at all surprised by this. What surprised him though was the fact that even though the head and upper body of this person was covered by Adrian’s coat, what it could cover was still limited; this man was clearly wearing a black suit.
He was no student.
“Uh,” Fayn hesitated, “Is…is this a professor or…one of the guests today?”
The body of that mysterious man shrank a little, and he held onto Adrian’s neck with an even greater force. Only then did Fayn notice that the other man’s wrist was fair and thin, with long slender fingers; from that alone, he seemed quite young.
With such a youthful pair of hands, it was probably not a professor. There were many guests who were wearing black today, but the ones at this age, with such a figure, and with skin so fair…Fayn’s eyes were getting wider and wider. He suddenly felt as if these hands seemed just a little bit familiar.
Adrian glared at him. “What’s with all your nonsense today? Get back to your job.” Saying that, he carried the man to the clinic, leaving behind his adjutant who was still having difficulties digesting this piece of news.
Wei Lan opened the door for Adrian and glanced over to the man in his arms. “A man? Then he won’t be able to lay down, put him down on his side.”
Adrian was confused. “Why should I put him on his side if he has a fever? And what do you mean he’s a man?”
Wei Lan who was preparing the tools suddenly paused and raised his gaze to question. “Fever? But the adjutant said…”
“…Nothing. Do you know what caused the fever?”
“Being out in the cold for a long time? It could be something more, take a look at him.” As he said that, Adrian set the man down on the bed. The man who was being covered with the coat was strangely quiet.
Wei Lan put away all the equipment silently and took out the routine inspection equipment.
He was just about to pull the coat away from that person when Adrian suddenly caught his hands.
“Have all the surveillance equipment in the room been removed?”
Wei Lan nodded. “I took out all we can, I told the others to block out the signal for those we can’t remove.”
“You heard him, this place is not being monitored.” Then, Adrian peeled his coat away from him.
After being tossed around for such a long time, the blush on Zhong Yan’s cheeks had already spread throughout his entire face. It was unknown whether it was from his fever, or from anger, but it might also be due to the lack of oxygen from all his struggling on the way; or even all of the above. He raged, “You’re so unreasonable! You’re…you’re…”
“Abducting a council member? Kidnapping the top rank of the Supreme Council?” Adrian shot him a challenging grin. “Go ahead, sue me.”
Wei Lan listened silently as the two exchanged insults at each other until Adrian finally turned his attention towards him again. Then he asked, “Commander, are you sure you’re conscious right now? This is Councilor Zhong Yan.”
The greatest merit Wei Lan had was his calmness. Once, in a time of danger, he pulled Fayn back from death’s grasp during a wipeout operation. It happened around the time when Adrian had just been promoted and was vigorously developing his own troops. So he was promoted and eventually became Chief Medical Officer of the Navi Military Command.
But his calmness was also his greatest downside. Besides being totally unfazed by death, he would always say ridiculous things with a completely calm demeanor. More than once, someone would try to act out against Adrian when their tolerance peaked, and every time they visited the clinic, where they would then feel the need to beat up the medical officer.
The veins on Adrian’s forehead were popping, and he felt he could finally empathize with them. With impatience, he said, “Do you want me to give you my security code for verification? I know who this is! Now deal with him quickly, and throw him out when you’re done!”
“I’m not sick!” Zhong Yan was still putting up a stiff resistance. But unfortunately, it clearly took a lot of effort for him to even speak these words, so it was not at all convincing.
Somebody knocked on the door to the ward.
Adrian switched on the terminal screen to look, then turned to Wei Lan. “I’ve got business, I’ll be back in a bit.”
Fayn was pacing anxiously at the door, and when he saw that Adrian had finally come out, he quickly asked, “How was it? Can he be saved?”
Adrian:”…Save what? Didn’t you have a report for me?”
Fayn waved his hand, “Gosh, we can talk about the reports next time, this is more important. What kind of friends are we? Do you still have to hide anything from me? You’ve even gone so far as to carry him back—did you break his legs?”