Chapter 16: Bright Eyes
Zhou Yu walked past Wu Yun and shot him a cold glare. “Who just said they would shoot me if I were infested with parasites?”
“Okay, fine… I’m sorry!” Wu Yun raised his hands and followed behind Zhou Yu. “These are mission rules. Didn’t you also learn it when you were in training?”
“Relax, when you get bitten by some D rank organism, I will abide by those same mission rules and shoot you too.”
When five minutes were up, Li Qian reluctantly stood up and everyone pushed on.
As Zhou Yu walked, he looked at the little guy hanging at his waist. As if it had really been hurt, it remained huddled inside and didn’t move.
Zhou Yu poked it with his finger, and quietly said, “Did it suffocate?”
Just as his words left his mouth, the little thing turned its head from within the silk scarf to look at Zhou Yu with an accusatory gaze, as if it was saying, “You hurt me, why didn’t you apologize?!”
Zhou Yu unintentionally smiled.
He suddenly recalled something from his childhood. There was a big kid in his school who would always bully Zhou Qing. One day, Zhou Yu gave him a beating, and on the next day, that big kid had looked at Zhou Yu at school with the exact same expression as the little thing.
Zhou Yu ignored it and continued walking.
As dusk approached, Dr. Daniel reminded everyone to inject the inhibitor.
“Zhou Yu, don’t you need it?” Wu Yun nodded at the loaded syringe.
“No.” Zhou Yu’s expression didn’t change.
“All right then, no matter what we come across, you’d better not be afraid. I have enough to drag me down already, I’m afraid I can’t save you as well.”
“Just take care of yourself.”
It wasn’t suitable for them to continue walking at night and Li Qian and the others really did need to rest. If they pushed on, Zhou Qing would faint.
Li Qian and Han Li were back to back. Li Qian’s arm just happened to slap onto Wu Yun’s face. Wu Yun pushed it aside.
Although the usual Li Qian may seem as if he disliked Wu Yun, at a time like this, he still felt the safest beside a seasoned veteran like Wu Yun.
“Zhou Yu, did you know? I’ve never slept like this in the primeval forest before, being exposed to danger in the open.”
Wu Yun closed his eyes while talking to Zhou Yu, who was across from him.
“Don’t worry, if we meet anything dangerous, I won’t save you.”
“Because being taken care of like a kid will hurt your ego. Compared to your life, it’s more important to you that you protect your ego.” Zhou Yu crossed his arms and closed his eyes too.
“You should still try to protect my life.”
There was a temperature difference between day and night. Fortunately, the ancient trees were dense and retained the temperatures of daytime, so it wasn’t too cold.
Li Qian and Han Li were already huddled together.
Zhou Yu removed his jacket and used it to cover Zhou Qing. Zhou Qing had been exhausted and on edge and had fallen into a deep sleep. Just as Zhou Yu turned to the side, he squished that little thing under him.
It unhappily used its head to fiercely butt Zhou Yu. Although it wasn’t very strong, at least it reminded Zhou Yu of its existence.
Zhou Yu picked it up and looked into its eyes.
Under the pale moonlight, its soft black fur seemed to shimmer with a light silvery glow. Its translucent wings flapped slowly, and the wind brushing past ruffled Zhou Yu’s hair over and over again.
It was as if there was another, cleaner world in its eyes, silent and tranquil.
Zhou Yu smiled.
He questioned in his heart, why would Wu Yun, Han Li, and the others think that this little guy was ugly?
When you grow up, maybe you’ll become an elegant and noble creature…
Then Zhou Yu felt that he was also laughable. He was like a father holding his own child and imagining his future.
Suddenly, the little thing mischievously stuck out its tongue and swiped it across Zhou Yu’s nose.
It was soft and tender, like when Zhou Yu had first touched it.
He knew he could have avoided it, but for some reason, when he looked into its eyes, he forgot to.
Zhou Yu let go.
The little one was wrapped up in the silk scarf and they fell onto Zhou Yu’s chest together.
When Zhou Yu turned over, it also fell. It struggled but wasn’t able to get out of the scarf.
Zhou Yu reached out and slid his fingers down the black fur on its back from time to time.
“Hrrn…” The little one narrowed its eyes, then flopped over and showed its belly, as if it was saying “touch me here too.”
Zhou Yu couldn’t help but think of the husky he had once raised. Every time he gave it a bath, it would flop down onto the tile floor and show its belly. Its meaning was “give me a good rinse here as well.”
Zhou Yu used a finger to poke its belly. It unexpectedly let out a burp, then showed a dissatisfied expression to Zhou Yu.
This caught Zhou Yu’s interest. He used his fingers to play around with its small wings, and it also wiggled happily.
“Hey, don’t play too much that you forget to sleep,” Wu Yun opened his eyes to remind him.
“Yeah.” Zhou Yu made a gesture of “quiet” to the little thing.
However, it didn’t understand what he meant and tilted its head to look at Zhou Yu. It kept arching its back into Zhou Yu’s fingers.
“It looks like it really likes your finger. Why don’t you try giving it your finger to suck on, maybe then it’ll sleep,” Wu Yun said before turning over.
Zhou Yu tapped it on its snoot, then cupped his palm over its back. It became docile and closed its wings, afraid of harming Zhou Yu. It liked the temperature of Zhou Yu’s palm very much and let out a chirp, then it sucked on Zhou Yu’s index finger.
At that moment, Zhou Yu tensed up, and just as he was about to withdraw this finger, he felt its tongue prod him and carefully wrap around his finger, as if it was pleading with him to stay.
The moment Zhou Yu’s heart softened, a sharp pain came from his finger. He was a hundred percent sure that his finger had been bitten through the skin.
Zhou Yu wanted to take his finger back, but then came a pleasant, relaxing feeling, as if the pores of his body had opened up to welcome the oxygen in the air.
His heartbeat slowed and his thoughts flowed into a warm and vast ocean.
Just what is going on…? It must have bitten me… It must have bitten me… It’s sucking my blood…
Gritting his teeth, Zhou Yu suddenly yanked his finger back. He held it under the moonlight and carefully inspected it, but there truly wasn’t even a pinprick of a cut on his fingertip.
Just what was going on?
The little thing seemed to have gotten sleepy. With its mouth half-open, its breaths gradually became steady.
Zhou Yu narrowed his eyes and carefully pried open its mouth.
There was still nothing.
Maybe it could hide its teeth?
Just what was it?
The little thing shifted a little. It seemed to feel that it was too cold and cuddled into Zhou Yu’s arms.
That soft, warm, and weak feeling once again occupied Zhou Yu’s senses.
It seemed to know that this could soften Zhou Yu’s heart.
This was what was the most frightening.
Zhou Yu pinched his fingers, but there wasn’t any pain at all. This made Zhou Yu wonder if the little thing’s saliva had some special kind of composition that could have a numbing effect. Of course, these were all Zhou Yu’s guesses.
In the process of thinking, Zhou Yu eventually fell asleep.
At the same time, Zhou Qing was also well asleep.
Vaguely, he felt something gentle caressing his forehead. Even his nose could pick up on a fresh and clean scent that soothed him.
Zhou Qing wanted to turn over, but he felt something tracing the curve of his brow bone. He instantly opened his eyes and was surprised to find that the face he had seen by the lake appeared before him again.
Gasping in surprise, Zhou Qing’s pupils instantly dilated.
He put his finger to Zhou Qing’s lips, signaling him to stay quiet.
“There’s no need to speak, I know what you’re saying.”
That voice sounded like that of the elves in “The Lord of the Rings” as it echoed inside Zhou Qing’s mind.
Zhou Qing looked into his eyes. It was as if his thoughts had entered another world.
He was curious about his appearance.
He smiled, and Zhou Qing was unable to look away from the curve at the end of his brows and at the corner of his eyes.
Was this the charm of an S rank organism?
But, why would he choose Zhou Qing?
“You’re letting your imagination run wild again. You should think about more valuable things.”
That voice sounded again. Zhou Qing subconsciously followed it. He wanted to hear more of this voice.
Even if it was only his imagination.
His heart was pounding with vigor, and his blood began to stir.
But, why would he choose Zhou Qing?
He subconsciously asked in his mind, “What should I think about that has value?”
“Such as the nerves on these plants, or their paths of evolution, such as the embryos of plants, or the tumor in your brain, such as… me.”
Zhou Qing’s eyes widened as he looked at him.
“Everything will be fine. When you accept the world with the purest of intentions, the world will return that purity to you. Good night, Zhou Qing.”
In the blink of an eye, everything disappeared.
Zhou Qing used his hand to lightly thump over his heart.
Did that S rank organism really appear in front of him, or… did he only create a gentle fantasy for himself?
Just as Zhou Qing turned over, he was startled to realize that he seemed to be holding something in his palm.
He slowly opened up his fingers and discovered that it was a pale blue fruit that resembled colored glass.
He was thoroughly shocked.
He remembered that fruit. He had even read over the limited information they had on it thousands of times.