Chapter 42: Waking up feeling very much in love with you
Just as Zhou Yu’s fingertips touched upon him, he started to shrink, until he became human-shaped.
He was a handsome youth whose looks were hard to forget. His deep, bottomless eyes stole away Zhou Yu’s breath, and time seemed to stop.
He hugged Zhou Yu and swam with him to the border of where light met the water.
Zhou Yu suddenly opened his eyes and panted harshly, as if he had finally jumped out of the water. He saw the ceiling of his room above him.
He reached up to cover his eyes.
It was indeed an S ranked organism that had saved him, and it matched the description of the organism Song Zhi was searching for. It wasn’t an illusion because he hadn’t yet known the organism’s description then, nor had he received Elpis’s memories. There was nothing in his mind for the illusion to build itself upon. Aside from that, it had saved him again during the battle in the 12th zone of the primeval forest.
But why did he dream of… Mo Ye turning into that S rank organism?
Zhou Yu turned his face to the side. Mo Ye was snuggled up beside him, sleeping soundly. His little wings rose and fell in time with his breathing—he didn’t look like an S rank organism at all.
Zhou Yu sighed and hugged Mo Ye, thoughts running through his mind. As a night spirit, Mo Ye shared a special connection with that silver creature. Had Mo Ye summoned it in a moment of desperation?
Or maybe he was indeed saved by an S rank organism, but had imagined Mo Ye turning into the silver creature. Mo Ye faced off against the golden sea bull to save everyone despite how dangerous it was, so maybe that’s why he had imagined that it was Mo Ye who saved him at the Angel’s Horns?
“Mo Ye… do you have a lot of secrets I don’t know about?” Zhou Yu petted his back.
Mo Ye opened his eyes at Zhou Yu’s words and put his head on Zhou Yu’s chest to look at him.
Zhou Yu had always felt like Mo Ye could see right through him. His thoughts, his expectations of the world, and his deepest, darkest fears where all understood by him.
Mo Ye poked Zhou Yu’s chin with his nose, then jumped off the bed and waved his front paw at Zhou Yu, meaning “let’s go eat dinner!”
Zhou Yu couldn’t help but laugh at that.
If Mo Ye really was S rank, then why was he staying by his side? Was it only to drink a little bit of his blood every day?
The next morning, Zhou Yu brought Mo Ye to see Carlos.
Zhou Yu had his hands crossed behind his head and unhurriedly walked through the passageways. It was rare for him to have such a pleasant morning. Zhou Yu looked down at Mo Ye, who was beside him. His pace was the same as Zhou Yu’s, and he would occasionally swing his head to and fro as if he was even in the same mood as Zhou Yu.
A team of researchers and guards carted a nutrient chamber past them.
Zhou Yu looked over and saw that the nutrient chamber contained an almost translucent, golden creature in it. It was turning in the water gracefully as if dancing the waltz.
It attracted Zhou Yu’s attention. It… seemed to be the Nibelungen jellyfish…
It was beautiful… but also possibly very dangerous.
Less than a second later, Mo Ye unhappily bit at Zhou Yu’s pant leg. Zhou Yu looked down and couldn’t help but laugh when he met Mo Ye’s eyes.
Mo Ye large eyes were filled with discontent.
In his understanding, other than the care he showed for Zhou Qing, Wu Yun, and a few other people, all of Zhou Yu’s remaining attention should belong to him. Zhou Yu looking at the Nibelungen jellyfish for more than a second was too much for Mo Ye.
Zhou Yu smiled and lowered himself down to put his chin on Mo Ye. “Okay, Okay, let’s go find Carlos!”
Carlos’s department was very busy and in the middle of doing a comparative study between samples.
As soon as he saw Mo Ye, he walked out excitedly.
“My God, Mo Ye! You grew even bigger! Have you entered puberty yet? You’re growing up so fast!”
Zhou Yu looked down at Mo Ye and found that Mo Ye had… really seemed to grow bigger again…
Carlos wanted to measure Mo Ye, but Mo Ye kept moving around like he had ADHD. Carlos was sweaty and frustrated, but he couldn’t get ahold of Mo Ye no matter how he tried. Of course, no one else could either.
Zhou Yu felt sympathy for Carlos, so he said, “Mo Ye, be good.”
Mo Ye looked at Zhou Yu, then unhappily looked away, finally staying still.
Carlos finally managed to measure Mo Ye and said in surprise, “He grew taller by three centimeters, isn’t that way too fast?!”
Not just Carlos, but even Zhou Yu was shocked.
It hadn’t been more than three days since the last time Mo Ye was measured, so how did he grow so much?
What kind of growth rate was this?
“Mo Ye, you might be going through puberty! That’s why you’re growing so fast!” Carlos wanted to pet Mo Ye’s head, but Mo Ye quickly ran away.
“Puberty? No way, it’s only been a few months since he was born!”
“Don’t hold the organisms of Nibelungen to human standards of growth. The creatures here have a short growth period but it can take several thousand to tens of thousands of years for them to mature,” said Carlos.
“So you’re saying… that he’ll soon be an adult?” Zhou Yu deliberately rubbed Mo Ye’s chin with his toe, causing Mo Ye irritably run away. “Looks like you’ll be an independent grown in a few days, you don’t need to act cute with me anymore.”
“Other than his height, I want to take some of Mo Ye’s saliva, blood and fur from his back.” Carlos looked at Zhou Yu imploringly.
“I’ll try, but I don’t think Mo Ye will be willing.” Zhou Yu waved Mo Ye over, but as if Mo Ye had understood what Carlos said, he stayed far away from them and refused to come close.
When Zhou Yu approached Mo Ye, Mo Ye retreated someplace else. His refusal was clear.
Zhou Yu could only sigh and he said to Carlos, “Sorry… he doesn’t want to do it, so even I can’t force him to…”
Carlos nodded. “It’s not easy to see a living night spirit in the first place. We can skip the sampling for now, but we do want to have a more comprehensive understanding of a night spirit’s intelligence. Mo Ye can understand your words… of course, he can understand many people’s words, but I want to know his intelligence level and if he’s really equipped with the capability to communicate with humans. It will all be like a game to Mo Ye.”
Zhou Yu looked at Mo Ye, and said in a placating tone, “There won’t be any blood drawn, or fur pulled, you only need to play some games, what do you think?”
Mo Ye finally got a bit closer to them.
Carlos waved his hand. “Come with me.”
There were many toys placed before Carlos.
“Since Mo Ye can understand us, then there’s no doubt that he’s capable of a certain degree of logical reasoning. Let’s play some more complicated games. See this, Mo Ye? This is a Rubik’s cube. Can you turn this cube so that each side is of the same color?” Carlos held up a solved Rubik’s cube with one color on each side to show Mo Ye an example.
Zhou Yu thought that it was too complicated. Not even an adult may be able to solve it.
But for Carlos, he didn’t care if Mo Ye could complete the Rubik’s cube or not. He wanted to test if Mo Ye had the same logical thinking process as human beings.
Mo Ye looked intrigued. His two little claws took ahold of the cube and started to play with it. Because his claws were not as dexterous as human fingers, he would use his nose or hind legs to nudge it from time to time.
But Carlos could see that Mo Ye really was trying to make all the sides one color.
Thinking that Mo Ye would take a while to play with it, Carlos went to make two cups of coffee. Just as he handed one of the cups to Zhou Yu, Zhou Yu nodded at Mo Ye and said, “Mo Ye’s done.”
“Done… what?” When Carlos looked back, his jaw dropped to the floor.
Mo Ye yawned and laid down. The Rubik’s cube had been tossed aside and each side had been solved.
“He’s smarter than me,” Zhou Yu said, pointing to himself with a smile.
As he smiled, he felt surprised by Mo Ye’s intelligence.
Carlos gave him some more high-difficulty tests, including Harvard’s picture IQ test.
Mo Ye renewed Carlos’s understanding of his intelligence to new heights; he’d practically gotten all of the questions correct.
Carlos was overjoyed. He had already mentally categorized Mo Ye as a highly intelligent being.
“What about words? Maybe Mo Ye can understand words!”
Saying that, Carlos went and brought back a few whiteboards.
He had Zhou Yu write down his own Chinese name on the whiteboard, then pointed to the words and said, “Mo Ye, this is Zhou Yu’s name, can you see it clearly?”
Mo Ye stretched out his neck and carefully studied it, then nodded.
Carlos was very excited. He erased the words on the whiteboard and had Zhou Yu write down a bunch of other words on paper, such as the characters for “Wei,” “Xie,” and others that looked similar to Zhou Yu’s name. Carlos mixed up the papers and then spread them out in front of Mo Ye. “Mo Ye, can you find Zhou Yu’s name?” 1周(Zhou) vs 围(Wei) and 御(Yu) vs 卸(Xie).
Mo Ye tilted his head to the side and looked at Carlos. Carlos thought he didn’t understand him, but Mo Ye walked into the middle of the papers and, without hesitating, first took the page with “Zhou” on it, then the page with “Yu.”
Carlos grabbed Zhou Yu in a hug. “Oh my God, night spirits can learn characters! And they can learn them faster than the average person!”
Chinese was complex and had many characters that looked similar, yet Mo Ye was able to tell them apart.
Zhou Yu was dumbfounded. He looked at Mo Ye. Does that mean… that he could teach Mo Ye to read and thus find out what Mo Ye was thinking?
Carlos planned on devising more complex testing methods. Before Zhou Yu left, he borrowed a few books from Carlos.
Along the way, Zhou Yu’s expression remained calm, but he abuzz with emotion on the inside.
He felt excited that he could finally communicate with Mo Ye in a human way.
Back in his room, Mo Ye hopped onto the bed and curled up beside Zhou Yu’s pillow, like usual.
“Mo Ye, which book do you like?” Zhou Yu reached up to pet Mo Ye’s head. Even though it was a familiar action, Zhou Yu could really feel that Mo Ye had grown up.
This gave Zhou Yu a feeling of having aged rapidly in comparison.
Mo Ye used his front paws to flip through each of the books. He studied them carefully with his head askew, as if he could understand them.
In the end, he put his paw on a book with a black cover and slightly yellowed pages.
“This one?” Zhou Yu didn’t expect Mo Ye to pick such an old book.
He thought that Mo Ye would choose another, more colorful book.
Mo Ye patted it with his paw, meaning that he was sure.
“Good choice, ‘Zhu Shenghao’s collected works.’ Do you know who Zhu Shenghao is?” 2Zhu Shenghao (1912-1944) was a Chinese translator and poet best known for his translations of Shakespeare.
Mo Ye shook his head, but rubbed against Zhou Yu with his head expectantly.
Zhou Yu hugged Mo Ye and opened the book in front of him. The inscription on the first page made Zhou Yu pause because the signature said “Song Zhi.”
The handwriting was well-disciplined, yet also brimming with emotion. It was completely different from the handwriting Zhou Yu imaged that Song Zhi would have.
He thought Song Zhi’s words would have the frigidity of a machine, yet they weren’t like that at all.
Zhou Yu flipped open the first page and suddenly felt like he was taking a journey into the depths of Song Zhi’s inner world
Mo Ye patted Zhou Yu’s hand as if he was saying, “Why aren’t you reading it to me?”
Zhou Yu cleared his throat, and read in a voice void of emotional fluctuations, “Do not worry about the advent of old age, you will surely be lovely when you are old. And if you were to age ten years, then I will also age ten years, the world will age ten years, and God will age ten years. Everything is the same.”
This was the first time Zhou Yu had read Zhu Shenghao’s writing, but somehow, he felt like Mo Ye had deliberately chosen this book.
Mo Ye seemed to know exactly what Zhou Yu was thinking.
It looked like he was reading to Mo Ye, but seemed more so that Mo Ye was telling Zhou Yu that he didn’t care about the difference between his long life and Zhou Yu’s brief one. He was willing to grow old with him.
Zhou Yu suddenly felt that his cool-headed and rational self was very laughable.
Mo Ye… how could…? He wasn’t human. He came from another world, and he belonged to that world—Nibelungen.
Mo Ye saw that Zhou Yu had stopped, so he turned his head back to lick Zhou Yu’s chin, as if comforting him. Zhou Yu came back to his senses.
“Okay, okay, let’s continue.” Zhou Yu petted Mo Ye’s head then put his chin on Mo Ye.
“I am willing, based solely on our interlinked inspiration, to be each other’s constant source of solace, like the radiance of a shooting star illuminating my exhausted dreams. Forever storing this comfort… so that even when we part…” 3Thanks to THISBRO for help with this passage. I’m not entirely satisfied with my attempt on the poetry, but I couldn’t find any existing translations.
Zhou Yu suddenly wondered that when his contract of employment ended and it came time for him to go back, would he be able to peacefully say goodbye to Mo Ye?
“…I will wake up feeling very much in love with you.”
Zhou Yu couldn’t help covering his eyes and smiling.
He poked at Mo Ye’s folded wings. “Do you know what love is? What’s the point of reading this to you…?”
Love was an abstract concept. Mo Ye could understand what a bed, a book, or even Zhou Yu was from the daily conversations between Zhou Yu and the other humans, but love was something that could neither be touched nor described. How was Mo Ye supposed to understand love?
When Zhou Yu turned back to meet Mo Ye’s gaze, he was stunned.
He’d always thought that Mo Ye’s eyes were beautiful and crystal clear… but now, his eyes looked like amber seas, deep and profound, drowning everything within them.
Mo Ye leaned out and lightly touched upon Zhou Yu’s lips. As if he was answering Zhou Yu, that he actually knew everything.
Zhou Yu’s world started to softly tremble.
“You little thing, you keep following bad examples! I already told you not to kiss people so easily!” Zhou Yu forced Mo Ye’s head under the blanket.
Mo Ye started to struggle.
Zhou Yu knew that he couldn’t match up to Mo Ye in terms of strength and that Mo Ye enjoyed play-fighting with him.
Suddenly, Mo Ye’s wings opened up like a hug and wrapped around Zhou Yu.
Zhou Yu’s hands were supported on either side of Mo Ye, and he was completely frozen.
Since when did Mo Ye’s wings grow so big?
Mo Ye squinted his eyes like he was smiling. Zhou Yu understood his meaning: Usually you’re the one hugging me, but now I can finally hug you!
Amused, Zhou Yu sat up and looked at Mo Ye, “If you grow any bigger, you won’t be able to fit in this room anymore and will have to sleep outside in the hallway.”
Mo Ye looked at Zhou Yu and seemed to take his words seriously. He immediately curled up to prove that he didn’t take up much space.
Zhou Yu was grinning widely in his heart.
But it also inexplicably made him sad. He could feel the special bond he shared with Mo Ye and wished that he and Zhou Qing could also laugh and joke around like that.
He and Zhou Qing understood and respected each other, but since Zhou Qing had become a university professor, devoting himself to research, and he’d gone off on dangerous missions, the conversations between them dwindled.
“Say, how am I supposed to communicate with someone who can’t even talk?” Zhou Yu looked at Mo Ye, impulsively asking a question he found curious.
Mo Ye opened one eye and lazily looked at Zhou Yu. He seemed to scoff at the question.
The next day, there were no missions for the time being, so Zhou Yu brought Mo Ye on a walk with him in the area they could move about in. When the others saw Mo Ye now, they were no longer as quick to start any conflicts or show fear.
Zhou Yu came to Zhou Qing’s research department. He had originally been planning on going inside to see him, but found that he didn’t have fingerprint access to enter. Either Zhou Qing had not set him up as a regular visitor, or it was because of Juli Corp’s confidentiality policy.
“Let’s go visit Carlos.”
When he mentioned Carlos, Mo Ye showed an unhappy expression.
Zhou Yu squatted down in front of Mo Ye and stroked his head.
“Mo Ye, Carlos is actually pretty good to you.”
Mo Ye turned his head away as if he was saying: It’s his stupid tests that I hate.
Despite Mo Ye’s reluctance, Zhou Yu still wanted to know how far Carlos had gotten into studying the bones of the night spirits. Although, by all rights, he shouldn’t care about such matters.
Carlos was happy to see Mo Ye. He lowered himself down to smile at him, “You’ll soon be able to meet another night spirit. Do you want them to be a boy or a pretty girl?”
Mo Ye wasn’t interested in the question and was even a little disgusted by it. He turned back behind Zhou Yu and laid down.
“Mo Ye didn’t seem to want us to bring back a sample. That’s why, Doctor Carlos, you should be careful during your research. I’m worried that something may happen.”
Carlos smiled, “We’ve now confirmed that Mo Ye has a high IQ, so maybe he’s unhappy because he doesn’t want there to be another night spirit to replace him. He always wants to be first in Zhou Yu’s heart, just like a child clearly stating to their parents that they don’t want a younger sibling to share the attention shown to them.”
Zhou Yu could hold back his smile.
Carlos beckoned at Zhou Yu, who leaned down. Carlos whispered, “I’ll take you to go see our current research progress.”
“Is that okay?” Zhou Yu asked, surprised.
“Of course.” Carlos shot a glance at Mo Ye. “But Mo Ye can’t go inside. I’m afraid he might damage it if he gets too excited.”
He said the latter part in an almost joking manner.
Mo Ye unhappily laid down outside the room while Zhou Yu followed Carlos inside.
In a completed sealed glassed room, there was an embryo. It was very, very small, and its eyes were still closed, as if it was still enveloped in the amniotic fluid in its mother’s womb. It was slightly transparent and looked like it could rupture with a poke. If you looked carefully, although it wasn’t too clear, it very closely resembled Mo Ye.
Zhou Yu’s heart unexpectedly started to thump like crazy. It wasn’t from the joy of seeing their research progress, but a mysterious sense of abhorrence, so that not even Zhou Yu himself knew where his conflicting feelings came from.
“Isn’t it interesting…? Life is so wonderful. And we’ve created it…”
There was expectation in Carlos’s eyes.
Zhou Yu gave him a tight smile and changed the topic. “Are there any more tests for Mo Ye today?”
“Oh, of course.” Carlos snapped out of his reverie and said, “It’s a test of strength. You said that not even the helicopter could cross through the golden sea bull’s storm, but Mo Ye could. We want to know just how strong Mo Ye is.”
“Just that?” asked Zhou Yu.
“Yes. Is there something wrong?”
“If you want to take a sample from him to compare it to the organism you’ve created, then Mo Ye won’t agree to it,” Zhou Yu said.
Carlos revealed an awkward expression of having his plans seen through.
When Mo Ye first arrived there, he had been very hostile, and the sedatives were ineffective on him. Carlos had been unable to take a sample the whole time.
Now, when Mo Ye was in a good mood, he would regard Carlos’s series of intelligence or logic tests as a game and play with him, but he still refused to give up even the smallest bit of fluff on his body.
“I swear that today will only be a strength test,” Carlos promised.
It was only “today” anyway.
When Zhou Yu opened the door again, he saw Mo Ye lying on the ground, bored stiff. Hearing Zhou Yu’s footsteps, Mo Ye straightened up and followed him.
- 1周(Zhou) vs 围(Wei) and 御(Yu) vs 卸(Xie).
- 2Zhu Shenghao (1912-1944) was a Chinese translator and poet best known for his translations of Shakespeare.
- 3Thanks to THISBRO for help with this passage. I’m not entirely satisfied with my attempt on the poetry, but I couldn’t find any existing translations.