Chapter 43: A test of strength
“I really don’t understand, why is Mo Ye so attached to you?” Carlos found it funny.
Zhou Yu raised up a finger and half-jokingly replied, “Because he depends on me for food?”
Mo Ye seemed to be very displeased with what Zhou Yu said. He bumped into Zhou Yu from behind, causing him to stumble. Looking back, Zhou Yu saw Mo Ye glaring at him while turned to the side.
That was his angry expression.
Zhou Yu smiled helplessly. To Mo Ye, Zhou Yu was not just someone who fed him his blood. There was a certain bond between them that had started from the moment they first made eye contact with each other.
When they came to the testing room, Carlos handed a special rope to Zhou Yu. “Tie this rope around Mo Ye and have him pull it forwards. The instrument will test his strength.”
“This?” Zhou Yu wasn’t sure if Mo Ye would cooperate, because in his opinion, it seemed a bit too much like a chain for a pet.
“There’s no other way to test it…” Carlos replied helplessly.
Zhou Yu also wanted to know how strong Mo Ye was, so he lowered himself down and opened the loop of the rope over the top of Mo Ye’s head with both hands.
“Mo Ye, I’m not trying to catch you or restrain you, I just want to see how strong you are. If you really don’t like it, then turn your head away. ” Zhou Yu looked into Mo Ye’s eyes as he spoke. Zhou Yu carefully observed Mo Ye’s attitude; if he showed the slightest hint of unwillingness, then Zhou Yu would not continue.
Mo Ye did not refuse and he looked up at Zhou Yu.
His gaze was faithful and focused, as if he was leaving his freedom up to Zhou Yu’s decision.
Zhou Yu’s hands hovered in the air.
He was someone who never hesitated. But somehow, he always hesitated when it came to dealing with Mo Ye.
“Mo Ye, it’ll be alright. I’ll take it off for you later.”
Zhou Yu knew that as long as he stayed in the base, then the research on Mo Ye would not stop. If Mo Ye found it unbearable, then Zhou Yu hoped that Mo Ye would be able to let go of his attachment to him and return to the outside world as soon as possible.
As if he knew what Zhou Yu was thinking, Mo Ye straightened out and got into the rope.
“Great!” Carlos went back inside the monitoring room, ready to read the data.
“Mo Ye, come here.” Zhou Yu stepped back.
Mo Ye pulled on the rope and approached Zhou Yu.
Zhou Yu retreated farther, and Mo Ye continued forwards.
The rope stretched taut when they got to the center of the test room, but Mo Ye didn’t look like he was struggling.
Carlos opened his eyes wide as he saw the readings.” Oh my God! Twelve thousand Newtons! That’s the equivalent of a 4575kg animal!”
Zhou Yu couldn’t hear Carlos’s exclamation. He simply continued to walk backwards.
The test seemed to bore Mo Ye.
All of a sudden, he plopped down with the rope and yawned.
Carlos was anxious. He knew that Mo Ye was still far from showing his true strength.
Amused, Zhou Yu clapped his hands. “Mo Ye, let’s finish this test quickly and go back to read together, okay?”
Mo Ye slanted his head, meaning: No matter how you try and coax me, I’m still going to throw a tantrum.
“I’ll let you have some watermelon?”
Mo Ye still didn’t move, but the expression on his face was obvious: Keep going!
Zhou Yu shook his head, finding it entertaining.
Growing up, he’d never coaxed anyone before except for the time Zhou Qing had been bullied to tears by his classmates.
“What do I do now?!” Carlos wanted to rush out of the monitoring room, but when he remembered that Mo Ye only listened to Zhou Yu, he realized that it would only please Mo Ye to see him anxious. Carlos had no choice but to sit back down.
He was like a kid throwing a fit. The more the adults tried to sweet-talk him, the more he acted out. But once the adults ignored him, then he’d start to behave.
The door of the monitoring room opened.
Carlos turned around and saw Song Zhi come in with his hands in his pockets.
“What’s wrong?” Song Zhi looked at the data and frowned.
“I want to test how strong Mo Ye is, but Mo Ye is throwing a fit and Zhou Yu is coaxing him.”
“Coaxing him? Zhou Yu will spoil him. Why do you think an almost fully grown night spirit is having a temper tantrum like a child?” Song Zhi asked.
Carlos hadn’t thought about that question.
Without saying another word, Song Zhi turned around and walked out.
“Why is that?” asked Carlos, puzzled.
Song Zhi didn’t answer him.
When he came to the testing room, he pushed open the door and called out from the entranceway, “Zhou Yu.”
“Huh? Mr. Song?” Zhou Yu turned around.
Song Zhi beckoned him over.
Zhou Yu had walked up to about an arm’s length away from Song Zhi when Song Zhi suddenly pulled out his gun and aimed it at Zhou Yu. “Stop!”
Zhou Yu was shocked; he hadn’t expected that at all.
Song Zhi’s expression was absolutely glacial. His hand that was holding the gun did not tremble in the slightest.
“Stop right there, Zhou Yu. I know you can snatch the gun away from me, so this is my safety distance. If you step even a millimeter closer, I’ll shoot.” Song Zhi’s voice was steady and he sounded entirely rational.
“What’s going on? I don’t think I did anything wrong.” Zhou Yu motionlessly watched Song Zhi.
But Mo Ye, who had been lying on the ground just now, stood up and was tensed for action. His eyes were fixed on Zhou Yu’s back, but his gaze seemed to pass through Zhou Yu’s body and lock onto Song Zhi.
Song Zhi shifted slightly to the side to let Mo Ye see him.
“Mo Ye, I’ll count to three. Either you come here and stop me, or I’ll… shoot Zhou Yu’s head off. The neurotoxin in this bullet will come to effect very quickly, not allowing any time for first aid.”
Zhou Yu finally understood Song Zhi’s goal.
“Mr. Song! Is this all to force Mo Ye to perform the strength test? Are you crazy?” Zhou Yu looked into Song Zhi’s eyes. He wanted to understand the reason for his persistence, but he couldn’t comprehend it.
Song Zhi was a complete lunatic. In order to achieve his own goals, there was nothing he wouldn’t do.
“Isn’t this game fun, Mo Ye?” Song Zhi completely ignored Zhou Yu, turning it into a duel between him and Mo Ye.
“Mo Ye, ignore him! He won’t shoot,” Zhou Yu said while looking into Song Zhi’s eyes.
Song Zhi wanted him alive so that he could control Mo Ye. Why would he shoot?
An icy, cruel smile appeared on Song Zhi’s face. “Feel free to take a gamble on whether I’ll really shoot or not.”
Saying that, a bullet swiped past Zhou Yu’s cheek and into the wall behind him, resounding violently.
“Oh my God!” Carlos immediately jumped off his chair and rushed to the door.
He had to stop this madness.
But he found that he couldn’t open the door. Song Zhi had locked the monitoring room with his authority override.
Mo Ye’s body was leaned forwards, his eyes firmly fixed on Song Zhi.
“One… Two… “
Before the last number could be uttered, a blazing comet came hurtling in and sucked away the air in the room. Song Zhi was knocked down by a powerful force.
“Stop!” Zhou Yu shouted.
Song Zhi fell to the ground. Mo Ye was on top of him, his wings open and ready to stab Song Zhi.
The rope used for the strength test that was wrapped around Mo Ye had been broken. It sprung back and hit the wall.
Then came the sound of metal cracking and the whole wall behind them collapsed, as if an earthquake had taken place. It revealed Carlos looking at them stupidly from outside.
Song Zhi was surprised. Under normal circumstances, he should have been pulverized to dust when Mo Ye rushed at him at such a speed, but the force that knocked him over had felt no different than from being given a hard push. How did Mo Ye control his strength and speed?
The eyes that glared down at Song Zhi were cold and arrogant, as if Song Zhi’s threats were nothing more than the prancings of a clown.
I am the king of this world.
And you are merely an ant beneath my feet.
Only those who are chosen and recognized by me have the right to survive.
After a short half-second of silence, Song Zhi felt like he had just experienced a long conversation.
Zhou Yu bent down and picked up the pistol that Song Zhi had dropped to the side. Its weight gave away the fact that there were no bullets in its chambers.
“Let him up, Mo Ye.” Zhou Yu said coldly.
Mo Ye did not move, still pressing down on Song Zhi.
“He wasn’t planning to kill me. There aren’t any bullets in the gun.” Zhou Yu added.
Mo Ye was still motionless.
Song Zhi’s rimless glasses fell to one side, already broken.
He wore an impassive expression. “Carlos, what’s the reading?”
Carlos had been shocked silly and stood there without moving.
Song Zhi raised his voice. “Carlos—the reading!”
Carlos woke up and rushed to the computer.
The number made his pupils dilate and he couldn’t speak for a long time.
He rubbed his eyes, then responded after a long pause. “O-Over half a million Newtons.”
Song Zhi’s lips slowly turned up in a smile. He looked at Zhou Yu and said, “Your Mo Ye really is special. Half a million newtons. Such a small body was hiding such great strength, are you really not afraid at all?”
Zhou Yu looked down at Song Zhi indifferently. “Is there anything more terrible than the desires of humans?”
Mo Ye slowly stepped back, giving him space.
Song Zhi sat up and smiled with his hands pressed up against his eyes.
Zhou Yu nodded at Mo Ye. “Let’s go back.”
Mo Ye followed behind Zhou Yu. He turned to look back at Song Zhi one last time before he left. Song Zhi waved at Mo Ye.
A few minutes later, Song Zhi stood up and straightened out the hem of his suit. He crossed over the cracked wall and came to Carlos.
“M-Mr. Song… Are you okay? “
It was a miracle that Song Zhi was still alive after being knocked down by such a strong force.
“Do I look like a ghost?” Song Zhi said.
Carlos gulped. Song Zhi put his clenched hand out in front of Carlos and slowly opened it. There were tufts of fur in his hand.
“That’s Mo Ye’s!” Carlos looked surprised.
Before that, Mo Ye hadn’t allowed them to take samples. In a fortunate turn of events, Song Zhi had got the samples in his own way.
“I’ll get the sample container!”
At that moment, the black fur that came in contact with the air rapidly turned white, transforming into a nearly translucent silver scale.
Song Zhi’s fingers trembled, his eyes opening wide.
In the blink of an eye, the silver scale crumbled into powder.
“Wha.. What happened? ” Carlos was dumbfounded.
“Like this, the gene is destroyed. Unless we get a bone or blood sample, this is what will happen to skin and fur.”
Song Zhi flipped his hand over was about to drop the ashes. Carlos quickly caught the sample with a container.
“Even if the gene is destroyed, maybe we can work something out!” Carlos’s heart ached.
“No, you won’t get anything out of it.” Song Zhi dusted off his hands and turned away.
As he walked, his brow furrowed even more intensely.
“Zhou Yu… are you…? Just don’t end up like me and become unable to pull yourself out… “
Song Zhi scoffed mirthlessly and returned to his office. He took out a syringe and stabbed it into a vein on his left arm to draw blood. Then he opened the hidden safe under his table, containing another, low-temperature safe, and put the bag of blood inside.
“…You can live for a long time, but what I leave behind for you may never be enough.” Song Zhi tilted his head up and leaned back against his chair, showing a weary expression.
Mo Ye, who followed Zhou Yu back to his room, was a little nervous, as if he was worried that Zhou Yu would suddenly disappear. He wanted to stick by Zhou Yu at all times.
Zhou Yu held up Mo Ye’s forepaws and carried him up. Mo Ye’s legs were still on tiptoe. Zhou Yu could confirm that Mo Ye had indeed grown up a lot.
“Actually, Mo Ye, Song Zhi was only using me to threaten you today, he didn’t really want to kill me. He wasn’t just testing your strength, but also my importance to you, do you understand?” Zhou Yu looked into Mo Ye’s eyes and asked.
Mo Ye nodded.
Zhou Yu said, “Mo Ye, you’re already very strong. Beyond the base, there aren’t many creatures that can hurt you. In the outside world, you can live a free life.”
Mo Ye didn’t seem to like this topic. He turned his head to face the side.
Zhou Yu sighed.
“Now, Song Zhi is treating me like your leash. As long as he can control me, he can control you too. He wants to catch a certain S rank organism, but in my opinion, we don’t have the ability to go up against one and it would be a sure death if we do. I don’t want you to be a stepping stone on his path of self-destruction. Do you understand that?”
Zhou Yu shook Mo Ye, meaning for Mo Ye to look at him.
Mo Ye reluctantly looked at Zhou Yu and nodded.
“So leave this place if you find a chance to. Don’t worry about me, even if you are not around, you’re still my friend. Do you understand? My wish has always been for you to be like the other creatures of Nibelungen and live life in your own way.”
There was a layer of mist in Mo Ye’s eyes, which softened his bright gaze.
He nodded to show that he understood Zhou Yu’s meaning. Then he shook his head hard, meaning that he wouldn’t do that.
Zhou Yu felt helpless.
He found Mo Ye to be even more stubborn than humans, and in front of what he believed in, things like his freedom were not worth mentioning at all.
Mo Ye pushed “Zhu Shenghao’s Collected Works” in front of Zhou Yu. When Zhou Yu flipped it open to the first page, Mo Ye pointed his paw at a certain sentence, as if he wanted Zhou Yu to read it out.
“I am willing to give up everything, to long for you all my life…” Zhou Yu’s breath was stuck in his throat. He stroked down Mo Ye’s back. “I know what you mean, Mo Ye… but this is a love letter. A love letter is written for someone you love. Do you understand the meaning of love?”
Mo Ye nodded.
Zhou Yu couldn’t help but laugh at that. In a sense, he also loved Mo Ye. But his love was different from the kind found in the love letter. Abstract concepts were the most difficult to explain to Mo Ye.
In the next half month, Zhou Yu and Wu Yun received almost no new tasks, largely because the base focused their research on the night spirit that was soon about to mature.
When Wu Yun wasn’t training newcomers, then he was chatting and feasting in the dining hall with Li Qian and Zhou Yu. Li Qian had upgraded the system in the base. Although he was neither a field worker nor a researcher, Song Zhi had started to value him more because he made the base “safer.”
That day, Wu Yun and Zhou Yu were sitting in the dining hall, looking up at the TV with the field workers who were on break.
Wu Yun and Zhou Yu were sitting at the table closest to the TV. Except for Li Qian, who was munching on chips, everyone else sat two or three tables away from them.
It was because Mo Ye was crouched in front of Zhou Yu’s table.
Today’s movie was “King Kong.”
Different from the previous “action movie,” this one showed many things from the human world.
Mo Ye was fascinated, especially by the towering skyscrapers, the vehicles in transit, and the various details of human life.
Wu Yun knocked on the tabletop beside Mo Ye and evilly said, “See that, Mo Ye? That’s the world of your beloved Zhou Yu.”
Before Zhou Yu could speak up, Li Qian rolled his eyes at Wu Yun. “Mo Ye, don’t listen to this guy’s nonsense. That’s America. Zhou Yu grew up in China.”
“Is there any difference between China and America? Aren’t they both in the human world?” Wu Yun pursed his lips.
Li Qian ignored Wu Yun and patiently explained to Mo Ye what a car was, different car brands, the general principle behind an engine, and so on.
Mo Ye was very interested and laid down beside Li Qian.
It was the first time Li Qian had felt this close to Mo Ye, so he was even more excited to explain to Mo Ye in detail about movies, the development of the film industry, and world-famous movie stars.
When Wu Yun reached for Li Qian’s chips, Li Qian didn’t notice him. However, Mo Ye raised a paw and smacked the chips bag.
“Wu Yun! How dare you steal my chips!” Li Qian glared at Wu Yun.
Wu Yun took his hand back. “You’re so stingy, Li Qian! Don’t you remember that we’re friends for life?”
Li Qian took back the chips and angrily replied, “Since when did we become friends?”
Wu Yun shook his head. “Alas… Mo Ye, I’ll teach you a little something about one of the inherent flaws of human beings: it’s easy to share sorrows but difficult to share joy.”
“Hrrn?” Mo Ye looked at Wu Yun with his head askew, as if he didn’t understand him.
Li Qian turned Mo Ye’s little head back his way and solemnly said, “Don’t listen to anything Wu Yun teaches you. He’s a perfect example of the negative side of humanity. Not only does he have a bad character, but he’s also bad luck! “
“Mm!” Mo Ye nodded vigorously, making Zhou Yu laugh.
At the end of the movie, King Kong fell from a tall building. Even in his last moments, he still protected his beautiful lady.
The despair in its eyes unexpectedly stabbed at Zhou Yu’s heart.
As if King Kong had turned into Mo Ye in that scene.
After the movie ended, many people stood up to stretch themselves out, but Mo Ye remained there, looking up, even though there were only subtitles rolling.
“These beauty and the beast movies are seriously so overdone. Can we play something more exciting?” Wu sighed.
Li Qian snorted. He knew what kind of movies Wu Yun would call exciting.
The movies here played on rotation. They couldn’t be requested, so they could only watch what was on.
The next movie was “Black Hawk Down.” Wu Yun nodded and said, “Although it’s not my first choice, it beats watching a gorilla and lady fall in love.”
“Hey, gorillas and ladies can’t fall in love! Don’t mislead Mo Ye!” Li Qian said.
“Hahaha, alright.” Wu Yun looked at Mo Ye. “So, Mo Ye, you and Zhou Yu can’t fall in love. You’re just like the lady and the gorilla in the movie. The gorilla could hold the lady in his hands, but they won’t have an ending together.”
Mo Ye looked at Wu Yun’s fingers waving around in the air, then suddenly lunged out to bite them.
Wu Yun opened his mouth wide and swallowed back his scream with great difficulty.
Zhou Yu sat in place and didn’t move. He actually had thought about taking Mo Ye with him; he was worried that the more Mo Ye learned about the human world, the more reluctant he would be to leave him.
Li Qian automatically started up his commentary function and began to explain to Mo Ye about the background of the movie, who the Rangers and Delta Force were, and the cause of the urban firefight.
Mo Ye listened carefully.
He seemed to have gotten addicted to watching movies.
Li Qian became sleepy as he was watching the movie. He didn’t respond even to the crackling of gunfire.
In the movie, a group of soldiers was hiding in a civilian house. One of the soldiers was seriously injured. The medic had tried desperately to carry out one last attempt to save him, however, it still failed.
Mo didn’t understand, so he pushed Li Qian with his paw.
Li Qian rubbed his eyes, but he was still sleepy.
Zhou Yu carried Mo Ye over and explained it to him, “The soldier was hit in the femoral artery and lost a lot of blood. The medic tried to clamp down on the artery to stop the bleeding, but failed, so he died.”
Mo Ye gave a slight shudder.