Chapter 31: Are you male or female?
“Fine… Make sure you take care of it…”
Zhou Yu smiled. When he passed through the two doors, Mo Ye, who had been curled up in a corner looking very lonely, suddenly pricked up its ears. It perked up then pounced at Zhou Yu. It first stepped on top of his knee, then jumped up and dangled its two small claws over Zhou Yu’s shoulder.
Zhou Yu carried it by its butt and frowned. “You look a lot fatter, Mo Ye. It seems that you need to exercise more, or else you’ll become obese!”
“Hrrn?” Mo Ye tilted its head, seeming to not understand what Zhou Yu called ‘obesity’.
When Zhou Yu walked along in the base with Mo Ye in one hand, all the people passing by did a double take, staring after Zhou Yu with astonished expressions.
“No way, I heard that Mr. Song actually let him raise that night spirit!”
“A night spirit is no E or D rank organism! It’s A rank!”
“That’s ridiculous! What if the night spirit grows up and attacks us?
Mo Ye seemed to understand what they said and it dejectedly buried its head in Zhou Yu’s chest.
Zhou Yu continued on as if he hadn’t heard anything until he saw Wu Yun standing in front of the dining hall.
“Hey, Zhou Yu, let’s have a beer together. Mr. Song gave our group a three-day long extended vacation. You’re not getting back before you get drunk today.”
“Isn’t there a shortage of supplies? How many cans of beer can a person have?”
Wu Yun stretched out a finger, “One can per person.”
“And you still want to get drunk on that?” Zhou Yu laughed.
He walked into the dining area and found that Li Qian was also there.
“Zhou Yu! Thank goodness, I was so worried after hearing about what happened to you!” Li Qian’s gaze fell on Mo Ye’s body and he immediately extended his arm to it. “Hey! Little thing! Weren’t you being locked up in that glass room by Carlos the mad scientist? It’s worth celebrating the fact that you’ve finally gained your freedom!”
“Hnn!” Mo Ye squinted its eyes, looking proud. It was familiar with Li Qian, but most importantly, Li Qian’s attitude towards it was totally different from those people it had met in the corridor. Mo Ye was sharp and perceptive.
Li Qian jabbed Zhou Yu with his elbow. “Hey, let me hold it for a while!”
“It’s not a pet. You have to ask Mo Ye if it’s willing to be held by you,” Wu Yun mocked.
Ia Bagh umaifd gs Mk Cf. “Kq, Mk Cf! Rqkn Cn zgvf ckn g hgmf! Yqgs g zpfgs hgmf! Xgh ckn ifs nhxif qnz ckn wkp g yqaif?”
Yn Cnh ignzqfd fvfh qgpdfp: “Yqc gpf ckn xkgtahz as iaof gh azhkpghs egec? Mk Cf au gh G pgho kpzghaum!”
Uahxf Rqkn Cn qgd xkmf ahsk sqf dahahz qgii yasq Mk Cf, sqf ligxf qgd effh gimkus fmlsc ftxfls wkp g wfy ksqfpu.
Lpkegeic efxgnuf as xknid wffi sqgs Ia Bagh qfid hk mgiaxaknu ahsfhsakhu skygpdu asufiw, Mk Cf uspfsxqfd kns asu ifws lgy ghd lns as kh skl Ia Bagh’u qghd, gu aw sk ugc, “A yaii giiky ckn, g usnlad qnmgh, sk qkid mf.”
Ia Bagh skko Mk Cf ahsk qau gpmu ghd wfis dkyh sqf winww kh as egxo. “Yky, as wffiu uk zkkd! A yghs sk offl sknxqahz as.”
Gs sqf eguf, fvfpckhf ygu giikyfd g watfd gmknhs kw wkkd.
Kh sqfap ligsfu yfpf ukmf vfzfsgeifu ghd g xns kw usfgo. Ukmf xgmf yasq paxf, yqaif ksqfpu, yasq ulgzqfssa.
Rqkn Cn’u sgusf ifghfd spgdasakhgi; qf qgd paxf kh qau ligsf.
The three chatted while they ate. Wu Yun and Li Qian jabbered back and forth with each other. When Li Qian spoke about some impressive new system he had developed for the base, Wu Yun would immediately reply that it didn’t do shit.
Mo Ye remained crouched on the table, watching them eat.
Zhou Yu used chopsticks. He picked up the already-cut steak and sent it into his mouth along with some rice. Mo Ye stretched out its neck to carefully study the way Zhou Yu’s hand held his chopsticks.
“Are you hungry too?” Zhou Yu reached out to tap Mo Ye on its nose.
Mo Ye huffed and used its small claws to push aside Zhou Yu’s finger. It stretched out to grab onto his chopsticks.
Across from him, Wu Yun seemed to find it amusing. “Not bad, Mo Ye! It’s making enough progress to learn how to hold chopsticks and eat like a human! “
Mo Ye crooked its head; its claws were not as agile as human fingers. Although it could grasp the chopsticks, it was unable to pick up the vegetables.
Seeing that it was hard at work, Zhou Yu reached out to pet the small wings on its back.
He knew why it took up his chopsticks, not because it was new and fun, but for the sake of becoming like Zhou Yu to live in the same way as him.
Mo Ye finally carried the chopsticks horizontally and picked up a piece of beef. It carefully stretched out its forepaws and gave the piece to Zhou Yu.
Zhou Yu opened his mouth and ate the beef.
Li Qian picked up Mo Ye and shook it. “You are so cute! What should I do? I want a night spirit too!”
“By the way, where’s Zhou Qing? Have you seen him?” Zhou Yu asked.
“Zhou Qing has been involved in some kind of research recently, he works while eating in the research lab… But don’t worry, Dr. Daniel examines him every day. His physical condition… That thing in his head, it hasn’t seemed to grow out yet…”
“That’s good.” Zhou Yu breathed out with relief.
After dinner, Zhou Yu and Wu Yun went to the public baths to shower. They were each in their own stall. On the other side, Wu Yun was humming something along the lines of “If you love me then kiss me, if you love me then hold me.” Zhou Yu instantly no longer had any desire to shower there.
He squatted down and rubbed Mo Ye’s head. “Mo Ye, you must be normal when you grow up. Don’t be like Uncle Wu Yun, who’s lost his marbles.”
“Hnn,” Mo Ye nodded.
Wu Yun’s voice came from the other side of the cubicle, “I’m singing a song! Every time my daughter sees me, she sings this song to me and acts like she’s spoiled rotten!”
Zhou Yu smiled and took off his jacket, revealing his strong upper body.
Mo Ye was crouched in the corner with its head up and its mouth half open. It was attentively looking at Zhou Yu, studying him.
When Zhou Yu’s hand was about to open his pants zipper, he found that Mo Ye was looking at his most embarrassing place expectantly.
“Hey, turn around and don’t look,” Zhou Yu indicated at it with a nod.
“Hrrn?” Mo Ye tilted its head to the side, not comprehending his words.
Zhou Yu’s lips twitched. The little fellow actually pretended to not understand him.
Zhou Yu put his foot on top of Mo Ye’s head, “You don’t understand? Do you really not understand? Ah… I never asked Carlos whether you were male or female.”
How biological sex was determined in Nibelungen seemed to differ from that of his original world.
Zhou Yu didn’t know where his interest came from, but he extended his hand to Mo Ye. “If you’re male, then tap my left hand. If you’re female, then tap my right hand. Are you male or female?”
Mo Ye stretched out his paw and tapped on Zhou Yu’s left hand.
Even Wu Yun from the next stall was interested, “Hey, is your Mo Ye a little girl or a stinky boy?”
“It’s a boy,” Zhou Yu laughed. “It’s fine if it’s a boy, we can shower together.”
“Ah… so it’s a boy… It would have been nice it was a girl…” Wu Yun’s tone seemed very disappointed.
“You can’t do anything even if it was a girl.” Zhou Yu opened the faucet and soaked himself in the water from the top of his head.
“I wasn’t planning on doing anything. But then you can buy dresses for her to wear and braid her hair!”
“Aren’t you talking about your own daughter?” Zhou Yu said with amusement.
He raised his hand and smoothed back his wet hair.
Mo Ye remained crouched in the corner, motionlessly watching Zhou Yu. The contour of his shoulders and the line down his leg were brimming with restrained tension.
Mo Ye’s head slowly turned his way, as if it was in appreciation of something extremely moving. Its focused gaze… was slightly greedy.
Zhou Yu was lathering some body wash when he suddenly thought of something. He looked at Mo Ye and said, “Hey, you haven’t been cleaned since you were born, have you?”
“Hrrn?” Mo Ye took a small step back to the cubicle behind him, but it was a pity that he wasn’t able to make it very far before Zhou Yu lifted him up.
“I’ll give you a good wash!”
After that, he put Mo Ye directly under the stream of water, drenching Mo Ye enough for him to cough several times.
When Mo Ye coughed, its small wings would also open up and splash the water, causing Zhou Yu to laugh.
“I’ll give you some shower gel!”
Mo Ye started struggling, it didn’t know what that was.
“Then we’ll have the same scent.”
That sentence probably tugged on Mo Ye’s heartstrings, since it obediently stayed still. Zhou Yu rubbed the body wash onto it, paying attention to the fluff on its back. Mo Ye was practically submerged by the bubbles.
Zhou Yu’s hands slipped, almost dropping him. Mo Ye quickly hugged around Zhou Yu’s neck and stared at Zhou Yu with round its eyes, as if to say: How could you drop me?
Zhou Yu simply did not hold it anymore and placed it directly under the stream of water, the two of them washing together.
Mo Ye clung to Zhou Yu’s shoulder, occasionally rubbing his head against Zhou Yu’s chin.
Shutting off the water, Zhou Yu wrapped the bath towel around Mo Ye and wiped it dry. Mo Ye popped his little head out from under the towel to curiously look around at the bathroom.
Wu Yun came out with a bath towel and poked Mo Ye on the head. “Listen to uncle, Mo Ye, this here is called the bathroom. And what is the bathroom for? It’s where you wash the dirty stuff off your body. You have to take a bath regularly. Zhou Yu likes to touch the fine fluff on your back the most. If you don’t bathe, then fleas will grow in your fur. They will jump onto Zhou Yu, and he’ll become very very itchy, then he’ll have to shave off all off both his and your fur.”
Zhou Yu helplessly said, “What kind of nonsense are you spouting now?”
“I wasn’t,” Wu Yun said solemnly, “Mo Ye, do you want to be a bald night spirit?”
“Hrrn?” Mo Ye looked at Wu Yun nervously as if his fur had really disappeared.
“Hey, you’re going too far!” Zhou Yu picked up Mo Ye and left the bathroom.
People passing by still stared at Mo Ye and whispered about them.
Zhou Yu still calmly regarded them as if they were invisible.
When they came to the entrance of his room, Wu Yun suddenly said, “Hey, Zhou Yu…”
“What’s wrong?” Zhou Yu opened the door, but did not enter.
“I heard… that Elpis has passed on its memory to you. Is there any way to cure lupus in your memories?” Wu Yun knew that he was being silly. Elpis probably didn’t even know what lupus was.
“I had a dream. A very long dream.”
“What kind of dream?”
“I dreamed that you came home, your daughter grew up, day by day, and you grew older, day by day. She went to a good university, got a good job, and met a like-minded man who would take care of her. Then they got married. At the wedding, you took your daughter’s hand and handed her over to the man. A year later, you met your first grandson. Ten years later, you had a house full of grandkids. We became old, and we no longer carried out tasks in dangerous places, Juli Corp did not even exist anymore.”
“Isn’t that boring?” Wu Yun laughed.
“It is pretty boring. We were just like the other smelly old men, we drink tea and play chess on the balcony. Occasionally, we’ll go fishing. By the way, you became interested in plaza dancing because of a beautiful old lady, you were pursuing her.”
“What the hell…” Wu Yun punched Zhou Yu on the shoulder, his eyes were slightly red. “Hey… Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” That was all the comfort that he could provide for him.
Wu Yun left, and Zhou Yu threw Mo Ye on the bed.
It was the first time that Mo Ye had seen a ‘bed’. It did a roll, then crooked its head to the side before rolling again several times until it rolled onto Zhou Yu’s pillow.
Zhou Yu helplessly lifted it up and mused, “When you grow up, I won’t have a place to raise you anymore. Maybe I should throw you out.”
Mo Ye got angry and posed like he was going to bite Zhou Yu’s finger. Zhou Yu avoided him.
“So stupid. If you get as big as me, then I’ll lie on your belly. It’ll be nice and warm and it saves space.”
Zhou Yu was already pretty tired. He laid his head on the pillow and pulled Mo Ye over to hug inside his arms. He was really sleepy.
Accepting Elpis’s memories had consumed almost all of Zhou Yu’s energy. He hadn’t gotten enough rest. Now that Song Zhi had given him three days of vacation, he wondered if he would sleep through the entire three days
Mo Ye wasn’t sleepy. It wiggled its body until Zhou Yu’s arm slid off of him to the side.
It touched Zhou Yu’s arm with its nose, but Zhou Yu did not respond.
A few minutes later, it heard the sound of Zhou Yu’s steady breathing.
Mo Ye adjusted his position and lay on his side just like Zhou Yu, leaning against Zhou Yu’s head.
It stretched out its small tongue and gave a small lick on Zhou Yu’s lower lip, then it quickly retreated.
It looked at Zhou Yu nervously and found that not even Zhou Yu’s eyebrows had twitched. It stretched out its small tongue and licked it again on Zhou Yu’s lower lip.
Zhou Yu was still unresponsive.
Mo Ye seemed to be having a good time, it put its tongue out again, but before it could lick Zhou Yu, Zhou Yu’s palm suddenly came pressing down on him, pinning down his head and rubbing him vigorously. “You bad little boy, if you don’t sleep, then I really will shave off the fur on your back.”
According to Elpis’s memory, the fur on the back of a male night spirit is used to attract a mate and symbolizes its masculinity. Zhou Yu did not believe that it would continue to misbehave if he threatened to shave off all his fur.
“Nnn…” Mo Ye made a pitiful sound, turned in a circle, and nested in the covers obediently.
Zhou Yu smiled with satisfaction.
Meanwhile, in Zhou Qing’s research lab, all the research assistants had already left.
“Professor Zhou, it’s getting late. You’ve been working for more than ten hours already, you should go back and rest.”
“Ah, all right. I’ll rest after I look over the information again.” Zhou Qing smiled and nodded.
When everyone left, leaving him alone, he took out the fruit of Elpis that he had been hiding on himself for a long time.
The fruit had a thick layer of skin; it felt soft, but couldn’t be peeled.
Zhou Qing could detect a sign of life inside the fruit, but he could not germinate it after attempting to in many different ways.
Whether it was by collecting the soil of Nibelungen or all kinds of nutrient-rich water, it didn’t react to any of that, as if it was trapped in the placenta.
Zhou Qing was worried. If it did not germinate soon, would the seed die?
After recording the measured data, Zhou Qing left the research room.
He met Dr. Daniel walking towards him.
“Professor Zhou, did you return just now? This is harmful to your health, only getting enough sleep can encourage your ability to think.”
Daniel looked tired, too.
“What about you, Doctor Daniel? You didn’t leave your post until very late. How is Zhao Xiaoping?”
Speaking of Zhao Xiaoping, Zhou Qing felt guilty. Before Zhao Xiaoping left the base, Zhou Qing had asked him if he could help him get some soil from Elpis. He didn’t know if it was for that reason that something had happened to Zhao Xiaoping for him to be unable to wake up.
“It’s still the same. Fortunately, Song Zhi wants to know how he feels, being controlled by Elpis. Otherwise, I’d be worried that Juli Corp, in order to cut down on expenses, would…”
“That wouldn’t happen. Although there are plenty of talented people here, it takes more than just money to train someone like Zhao Xiaoping who is both a capable and experienced researcher. I want to go see him, is that okay?
“Yes, but after you see him, you have to go to bed.”
“Of course,” Zhou Qing promised, nodding his head.
Zhou Qing came to Zhao Xiaoping’s hospital room. He was being injected with a nutrient solution and he also had various instruments to test brain activity on his head. His expression was calm and free of pain, joy, and even thought.
One of Dr. Daniel’s patients seemed to have destabilized and he quickly rushed over. Only Zhou Qing and Zhao Xiaoping were left in the room.
Zhou Qing sat down beside the hospital bed. He took a deep breath and put his hand over Zhao Xiaoping’s forehead as if to confirm that he was still warm.
But Zhou Qing didn’t expect for Zhao Xiaoping, who had been sleeping, to suddenly opened his eyes and grab Zhou Qing’s wrist.
“Are you treating my child well?”
Zhou Qing gasped and forced himself not to cry out.
It was Zhao Xiaoping who spoke, but the indicator measuring his brain activity did not react at all, so… was it not Zhao Xiaoping who was talking?
“You mean… The fruit of Elpis?”
“Yes, I mean my fruit.” Zhao Xiaoping turned to face Zhou Qing.
“You… Are Elpis?” Zhou Qing asked.
“You… Aren’t you dead?”
“This is merely the form that you human beings think life exists as. If you want the seed to germinate, then you must use the purest water.”
“The purest water…” Zhou Qing suddenly thought of a liquid sample brought back by team alpha from the center of the withered Elpis.
“It seems like you understand.”
Saying that, the instrument that monitored Zhao Xiaoping’s brain activity suddenly sounded.
The doctors rushed in to see Zhao Xiaoping sitting up.
“You’re awake, Zhao Xiaoping.”
Zhao Xiaoping looked bewildered and did not seem to know what had happened.
Zhou Qing slowly got up and retreated behind the medical staff.
Was the current Zhao Xiaoping himself or Elpis?
However, for Zhou Qing, the question that he had been asking was finally answered.
Zhou Yu slept like the dead, and when he woke up, it was already noon.
Mo Ye lay in his arms looking very cute.
Zhou Yu petted the fluff on its back. It felt even better after washing him with the body wash. No wonder night spirits used the fluff on their backs to pick up girls, it was their secret weapon!
Zhou Yu got up and washed, then went to the dining hall. Instead of holding Mo Ye in his arms, he let it scurry along on its paws to follow behind him.
Passerbys still cast them cautious glances, but Zhou Yu ignored them.
Someone even said, “Hey, watch your pet, okay?”
Zhou Yu tilted his chin with his hands in his pockets. “Who told you that he’s my pet?”
“You…” The other person felt that Zhou Yu was too much, but just as he raised his fist, he was hauled back by the people next to him.
“Don’t fight him… That guy is a monster that can’t die.”
The first time Zhou Yu fell into the Angel’s Horns, the base had thought that he was dead. But he came back.
The second time he was captured by Elpis, the base had thought that he was dead. But he was alive again.
No one cheated death as often as he had.
“Tsk… how fitting, a big monster raising a small monster.”
Zhou Yu indifferently walked into the dining hall. He came a little late, so there weren’t many people left except for Wu Yun, who was also on vacation. He sat with one leg propped up and was looking up to watch TV.
The contents of what was playing on TV was extremely inappropriate for children.
Zhou Yu knocked on the table, “Hey, who chose this?”
“I chose it. It’s rich in content and will open your eyes to the world.” Wu Yun kept watching, enthralled.
“Juli Corp provides films like this as entertainment for the people at the base?”
Zhou Yu pretended not to see and treated the moans coming from the TV as the wind blowing past his ears. He bowed his head and ate lunch.
Today’s meal was potato stew, it tasted not too bad.
“Are you kidding? No matter which world we’re in, we normal humans have needs, you know. And there are practically no women in the base. Now that I think about it, Han Li’s figure is not bad.”
The thrusting on the screen became even more exaggerated. If Li Qian was here, his ears would have turned red.
Zhou Yu had always been rather indifferent in this area, probably because he had a higher standard for self-discipline.
He took a bite of his food, then looked up again to see Mo Ye looking up at the same place as Wu Yun. Its eyes were wide open as if a new world had opened up before him.
Thanks for your patience!