Chapter 25 King Kong Barbie
Sinking into a deep slumber, Xiao Yan’s mind continues rippling with the ocean waves aimlessly, flowing back to the time when he was still having a blithe life in Charles.
The air filled with the refreshing fragrance of lush greenery as the breeze brushes across the leaves, flickering them on the way.
Xian Yan has his body curled up, his pitch-black hair draped across his forehead, moving with the wind. He was wearing the military uniform, and the circling symbol on his epaulet shows that he’s an apprentice from the Central Science Academy.
This place is the central square, where a sky-high monument stood in the center, covered in thousands of carved names.
Maglev cars come and go surrounding the square and the LED board of the stores nearby flashing their advertisements relentlessly like passing shadows.
A person crept up to him silently. It was a teenage boy in his fifteen to sixteen, with a mild-curled blonde hair and a pair of emerald green eyes, his lips pursed in a mischievous manner, like a beautiful porcelain doll arrayed behind the glass window where no one could tear their eyes off.
Xiao Yan remained on the ground with an upturn at the corner of his lips, clearly, he had noticed someone creeping up to him but has no plans to open his eyes.
The boy pounced on him while Xiao Yan opened his eyes with a feigned surprise look, “You scared me Casey—— you rascal!”
“The rascal is here to see you, aren’t you happy about that?”
Casey is short and petite but has surprisingly great strength. Xiao Yan’s wrists were held above his head by Casey as the latter sat on his waist, locking his movements before leaning down towards Xiao Yan, revealing his slender neck.
To be honest, if it was some other men sitting on top him in this same position, Xiao Yan would have felt revolting. However, Casey is a different story. Xiao Yan likes his childishness and mischievous, of course, not when he is in a rampant.
“You’ve put on weight again, grown taller?” Xiao Yan puffed a breath onto Casey’s nose tip on purpose.
“You’re just pleasing me right? I didn’t even grow an inch last year! Xiao Yan, you’re lazing off here again! I’ve heard it, you got a B- in the month-end test again! If this continues, you’ll never get yourself into the core of the Central Science Academy! And never get to expose to those high levels terminals! You can only be a second lieutenant for the rest of your life!”
Casey tightens his grip and grins triumphantly after seeing Xiao Yan face twisted in pain.
The core system of Central Science Academy, is a high-end system that operates the whole Charles underground city and all classified researches, and the people who control this system are called the “Connector” and they possess lofty status in Charles. This is also the primary objective of every apprentice from Central Science Academy.
“I’ve never thought of entering the core of Central Science Academy. I wish to go out.”
Casey’s shoulder went rigid. His eyes smiling into the shape of a curved moon turned solemn all of a sudden, his voice lowered while his grip on Xiao Yan continues to tighten.
“What the heck are you talking about? Leave Charles? Do you not know what the world looks like out there! Those zombies could tear you apart like a piece of bread and gobble you up into their stomach!”
Xiao Yan sighed and raised his head, gazing up at the blue sky, eyes staring into the further distance, “Casey, do you know what’s above us?”
“The sky,” Casey snorted.
“I just wish to see the real sky. Casey, aren’t you curious? What does the air out there smell like? What does it feel like when the wind comes brushing across our face? And-”
“There’s no “And”. Why do you think tech soldiers like us are trying all that we can to become A ranked cadets? It’s because we don’t want to leave Charles! Nor to go outside! Do you know that a research unit that left Charles a month ago was attacked by the ‘Tides’ organisation on their way to the research base and their aircraft crashed from the infiltration of the ‘Interruptor’? The Special Force Unit that went to investigate only managed to bring back their blood-stained bones and they had to undergo the DNA test to determine the owner of each bone. Do you want to turn yourself into a pile of bones as well? Do you have a death wish of becoming the gourmet for zombies? Do you seriously think that people will remember you after you got your name carved on this giant monument!”
Casey’s emotions were building up inside, his eyes went bloodshot.
“You’ll remember me,” Xiao Yan thought, of course, he didn’t dare to say that out loud.
“Okay, okay! I’ll get a B for next month’s test, alright?” Xiao Yan reassured Casey quickly and eyes narrowed, he lift his chin and placed a big loud smooch on Casey’s cheek.
As expected, Casey went frenzied.
“Xiao Yan! You did it again! You think I didn’t know you were trying to change the subject! You just don’t take those exams seriously! Otherwise, you would have gotten an A easily! You’re just using this as an excuse to go outside! Believe it or not Xiao Yan, I’m gonna lock you in the laboratory and watch over you by myself every day!” his fringe drape across his forehead as he yelled at Xiao Yan. Despite the feisty look on his face, Casey was genuine and adorable to Xiao Yan’s eyes, especially with the suspicious blush on his face. This fellow will always have the same reaction whenever Xiao Yan teases him with a kiss, but he just never gets sick of seeing Casey going frenzied.
“Alright, I’ll be heading off to the library to study now, and you can come along to be my overseer, sounds good to you?” Xiao Yan hooked Casey’s chin in a feigned frivolous manner.
Casey turned away grumpily. He is, indeed, a rare find bishounen in the research field. Countless female officers from the military and researchers are head over heels to him, but Xiao Yan was the only one to act around him like close friends and teasing him once in a while, while looking at his flushed face and feisty shouts in enjoyment.
And eventually, Casey got used to his teasing. Though what he didn’t know, was that whenever he forces Xiao Yan to pass the A rank cadet exam, Xiao Yan would start imagining him into a Barbie doll, dressing him up with all sort of cute wigs and clothes and posing him into various adorable…… and alluring poses.
“Hmph! You’re the only one who dares to treat me this way!”
Casey gripped onto Xiao Yan’s wrist and began dragging him out the central square. Xiao Yan stumbled along as he silently thought, “What a typical ‘King Kong Barbie’ Casey is……”
Once they left the soundproof zone, the noise of Maglev cars zooming above their heads made Xiao Yan frown. The sound of advertisements repeating their catch lines continuously, the 360 degrees presentation of the latest fashion garments and delicately made desserts arrayed in the cabinet, all seems serene yet extravagant, as though the savage world outside of Charles cease to exist.
It is now Charles Calendar (CC) 224. Mankind has detached from the era of paper and advanced into the age of bioinformatics. All information and data will flow into the human brain naturally once the brain is connected to the library mainframe. However, to what extent a person could memorise and understand the data provided are no longer within the control of the computer.
The library that Xiao Yan and Casey entered is the Science Academy library, whereby only the academy’s students can access for study or reading purposes.
There are millions of talents in various fields, but only less than a hundred of them have the opportunity to become the Connector, and the person sitting beside Xiao Yan with a frown, Casey, is one of them.
All eyes turned to him the moment Casey entered the library. He is the best researcher within decades in Charles. At the young age of sixteen, he already holds a Ph.D. for genetics, maths and virology and has been conducting researches on viruses for the military since then.
“Look! It’s Major Casey! He looks awfully young!”
“Of course! He’s only sixteen! I’ve heard that he had just came up with another outstanding theory on X-virus and the military are having plans to promote him to a Lieutenant Colonel and will be assigning him to work on an isolated research project!”
Casey was unfazed by the compliments and enviousness showered upon him. In his opinion, making Xiao Yan from a B- cadet to an A ranked is more challenging than researching the viruses.
Unfortunately, before Xiao Yan could access the database, an announcement was heard.
“Attention to all cadets! Attention to all cadets! The following cadets please proceed to meeting room 145!”
Everyone was paying full attention, and when Xiao Yan’s name was announced, Casey went pale all of a sudden.
“Sorry Casey, it seems that I can’t study today…… I have to head over to meeting room 145.”
Casey caught his hand before Xiao Yan leave and said in a low voice: “Haven’t you notice? All the names that were announced, none of them is an A ranked cadet!”
“So, I’m afraid I can’t make it until next months test, I’ll be going off on a mission already.”
Xiao Yan said with a smile, he knows the path before him, would be wide yet vicious at the same time.
“Do you think I didn’t know what those weasels are thinking? They are treating B ranked cadets as cannon fodders! I’ll go talk to Lieutenant General Erville now……” there was a shudder in Casey’s voice, and before he turns away to leave, Xiao Yan caught hold of him.
“Don’t, Casey. After this first mission, I promise I’ll pass the A rank exam when I get back and be off your service in the lab…… but… at least… just once, let me leave this place and have a good look at the outside world, just once.”
Xiao Yan was resolute in his choice. He understands that the freedom he gets from the outside world comes with an equal degree of danger, but he would never be able to let go if he had not seen it once before. If he were to stay in the enclosed world for his whole life, his desire towards the outside world will only increase day after day. He needs the reality to crush all his fantasies and only then he could become a well-behaved researcher.
“…… Be back safe…” Casey knows him too well. He could stop him once, but not twice or thrice.
“Or else, no matter where you are or what you’ve become, I’ll rush over to look for you at any cost.”
This is Casey, with a face of an angle and a stubbornness of a devil.
Shen Bing was standing before the bed, looking at the slumbering Xiao Yan with a deep frown.
The latter laid there with a contented smile on his face, as though he was not trapped in his own mind but only engrossed in a blissful dream.
The secretarial officer came to Shen Bing’s side and gave a light cough.
“Colonel, all data has been transferred to Charles. We have discovered the reason for the constant attacks on our research aircrafts from the Tides, thanks to Xiao Yan for retaining the Interrupter’s data flawlessly.”
“Are you implying that this rookie has done a crucial job for all of us but I’m being a heartless human for not saving him?”
Shen Bing gave the secretarial officer a mirthless smile as the latter took a small step back with a gulp when he felt the oppressing gaze from his superior.
“…… Colonel, I was just reminding you that Charles will be receiving the report about this mission very soon. The constant plane crashes that happened recently have led Charles into a state of scarcity of research talents, before long, they will have their attention on Xiao Yan.
Shen Bing breathed out a sigh, his eyes lowered.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to withdraw myself entirely if I were to enter someone’s mind again…”
At the same moment, his communication device went buzzing.
“Colonel, Colonel Heine Burton and his unit have arrived at the base!”
Shen Bing went rigid for a second before replying immediately, “I’ll go meet him!”
Within the parlour, a cold and stern looking man sat on the sofa with his legs crossed, wiping his long blade with care. A pair of icy-blue eyes as deep as the abyss was reflected from the metal blade, the tip of his hair swaying slightly with his movement, creating a form of ripple within the air. His fingers are slender, moving with elegance, his half-lowered eyes and flawless nose bridge cast a shadow upon his profile.
Despite the silence, a sense of oppression continues to swirl around him.
The door slid open as Shen Bing walked in with a smile.
“It’s been some time, Heine.”
“Hmn,” Heine replied without raising his head, while his subordinates stared at the colonel that just entered the room in surprise.
They know that their Boss basically treats everyone with aloofness, and giving a ‘Hmn’ as a reply was apparent that this person has a certain place in Heine’s heart.
Shen Bing flopped onto the armrest of the sofa Heine is sitting and nudged his shoulder with his arm, “I know you’re tired from the long travel, but…… I have something important that needs your help.”
Written by Jiao Tang Dong Gua
Translated by Winly 風夜林
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~~~ Chapter 26 Subconscious ~~~
Note: Hello guys! Sorry for being late today. Some of you who are following us on Facebook or Instagram probably know why I’m late today, but just in case you didn’t see our posts on FB and Instagram, I was selling artworks at a Sunday pop up market called Hin Bus Depot in Penang! It was our first time selling there, previously, we were the customers, not the sellers. Thankfully, all went well today, and I actually tried to translate while looking after the booth, but, clearly, I failed. Coz it was much more difficult to focus myself than I have expected! The customers are all so friendly and so are the other sellers around the market (which have me ended up late in translation update…….). So, I’m sorry about that but I really try my best to have it updated by today. Hope you guys enjoyed it and up next will be going into summaries, I’ll see how well I can do that XD.
And a short notice for you guys, I’ve confirmed that the publisher is willing to work with me as long as I’m approaching them as a company, so for now, I’ll have to make clear of the procedures to make out Elpis Creation into an enterprise and proceed with the contract for the book. When that happens, I’ll be needing your kind support to collect funds to purchase the book’s license. Anyway, that will still be a long way to go. For now, just enjoy the story and hopefully, all will go well eventually. ^_^
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