Chapter 46: The observation station
A dozen seconds later, the desert whale, which had been far away from them, suddenly sped in their direction. The desert sand billowed outwards and a huge, golden wave surged towards them.
“My God! What is it doing?” Wu Yun immediately stepped on the brakes. Now he really had no idea which direction to head in. There was a tornado behind them and a giant desert whale in front. They were trapped with no room to retreat.
The entire fleet stopped, only to be pushed forward by the sandstorm.
“Look, Mo Ye seems to be on top of it!” Li Qian shouted as he pointed to the giant desert whale at the very front.
There was a creature standing on its head. The shape of its wings closely resembled Mo Ye’s.
He was like a proud king riding on his mount, making rounds in his country.
Zhou Yu could barely open his eyes against the wind, but seeing Mo Ye like that gave him an inexplicable sense of awe.
“Did Mo Ye call them back?” Zhou Qing was stunned.
“He must have. Did you forget? Mo Ye is A rank, while the giant desert whale is B rank. According to Nibelungen’s hierarchy, Mo Ye should be able to have control over them. Just like how Mo Ye helped us drive away the golden sea bull, there must be a way for them to communicate with each other!” Wu Yun was overjoyed.
The pod of giant desert whales got closer and closer to them. The sand they stirred up felt like an enormous wave that covered the skies, striking fear into everyone present.
A baby desert whale suddenly dived into the sand underneath Wu Yun’s vehicle, then leaped out again, carrying their Hummer on its back and soaring into the skies
“Oh my God!” Li Qian had a hand clutched over his heart while his other hand maintained a tight grip on the handle on the roof of the car.
His heart flew up high with the baby desert whale, then suddenly plummeted.
“Woo—Hoo—This is so exciting!” Wu Yun banged on the steering wheel.
Zhou Qing suddenly clutched at his chest and knocked hard on the window with his other hand. His face had turned white.
“What’s wrong, Zhou Qing?” Zhou Yu immediately tensed up.
“He wants to vomit!” Han Li replied.
As the young whales flew, their vehicles also underwent their rising and falling motions, like an endless cycle. Zhou Qing’s looked increasingly unwell.
Wu Yun quickly rolled down the window and Zhou Qing threw up out the side of the car. As he vomited, he waved his hand to signal that he was alright.
“It’s like taking a ride on a pirate ship, but it’s even faster and more intense than a pirate ship. Not just Zhou Qing, but the researchers in the other vehicles are probably all in pretty bad shape. These things should come equipped with vomit bags! But then again, this is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience!” Wu Yun turned off the engine and looked out of the window with his hands off the steering wheel.
The whole desert seemed to be stirred up.
The giant desert whales carried them in the direction of the observation station. They traveled much quicker than the speed their Hummers had been driving at. They soon distanced themselves farther away from the tornado.
“It’s just like flying!” Li Qian adapted to the feeling faster than Zhou Qing.
Zhou Yu gazed towards the desert whale that was in the lead and saw that Mo Ye is still perched on its head. The seemingly small figure contained more power than Zhou Yu could imagine.
They suffered being jolted up and down the entire way, like riding on a pirate ship for more than an hour. Many of the researchers had vomited messily inside the Hummers, but they came to the border of the desert earlier than scheduled.
At the size giant desert whales were, they could no longer dive into the sand to take off into the sky anymore. They stopped and plodded quietly along in the sand, looking very obedient.
Wu Yun blinked, then stepped on the gas pedal to slowly drive the car down from the body of the calf.
Li Qian made an extremely regretful expression. “Is that it? I wish that part of the journey had been longer!”
Wu Yun smiled at Zhou Qing. “If it were any longer, our Professor Zhou would have to puke out his stomach and intestines.”
Zhou Qing smiled sheepishly. “It was truly a special experience. Although the process wasn’t perfect, looking back now I can say that it was very enjoyable.”
The desert stretched out behind them.
Wu Yun used his handheld radio to instruct the fleet to gather close and leave the desert together.
Mo Ye slipped down from the top of the desert whale’s head, spreading his wings and gliding in the breeze for about a dozen meters before landing at Zhou Yu’s window. He reached out to tap the window and even stuck his face on the glass. He looked so comical that even Zhou Qing couldn’t help laughing.
But Zhou Yu didn’t open the window. Mo Ye was so strong, for what reason did he remain by his side?
Zhou Yu looked into Mo Ye’s eyes for a long time. He suddenly really wanted Mo Ye to leave right then. He hoped that Mo Ye could be free. The longer he stayed there, the more he could feel that Juli Corp’s research goals were not as simple as they seemed. It was like another, invisible tornado, and it could sweep Mo Ye in at any time.
Mo Ye seemed to have realized something. He stared at Zhou Yu, his little paws hitting the window even harder.
But Zhou Yu seemed to have no intention of opening the window.
Wu Yun only needed to glance over to catch onto Zhou Yu’s intentions. He did not press the button to roll down the window either.
“Hey! Zhou Yu! Wu Yun! Why aren’t you letting Mo Ye in?” Li Qian asked in complete confusion.
“It’s to give Mo Ye another chance to choose. It’s obvious that even without Zhou Yu’s care, Mo Ye can live freely in Nibelungen. If things continue as is, then Zhou Yu will just be like Mo Ye’s drug addiction. The older he grows, the more difficult it will be to quit.” Zhou Qing answered for him because he understood Zhou Yu’s thoughts better than the others. No matter what kinds of decisions Zhou Yu made, he had always supported him, but this time was different. “Zhou Yu, you should know that sometimes when you feel like you’re doing something good for Mo Ye’s sake, it won’t necessarily make Mo Ye happy. For Mo Ye, his happiness is more important than his freedom. You’re the source of his happiness, so don’t give him up so easily.”
Zhou Yu clenched his fists. Actually, he was even more reluctant to part with Mo Ye than he had been last time, but he wasn’t sure if the reason Mo Ye had chosen to stay with him was because he was the first person Mo Ye had laid eyes on. Because he was the starting point of Mo Ye’s life, Mo Ye regarded him as a pillar in his world. If Zhou Yu were to take advantage of that and bind Mo Ye to his side, or to even make him into a weapon to attack and control the other organisms in Nibelungen, then he would truly be despicable.
Mo Ye knocked on the window even harder. In reality, it would be very easy for him to break the glass, but he didn’t do that. He insisted that Zhou Yu open the window himself to let him in.
Zhou Yu’s eyes reddened. He felt as if his heart was being strangled. He never knew that separation was such a painful thing and he found that he couldn’t be cruel to the end. Zhou Qing had said that Mo Ye was addicted to him, but did he not indulge in Mo Ye’s company as well?
“Actually, Zhou Yu, I wish you’d be a bit more selfish. If this choice can make you and Mo Ye happy, then don’t be too focused on the rules you set for yourself. And besides, I believe that the future can be changed.” Wu Yun turned to look at Zhou Yu. He put his finger on the button, ready to open the window and let Mo Ye in at any time.
But Zhou Yu sat there, motionless, and the team behind them was trying to reach Wu Yun.
“Why did you stop all of a sudden? Is there something wrong with your vehicle?”
“Why aren’t you moving?”
“What happened? Is it dangerous? “
Wu Yun simply replied, “Shut up!”
Zhou Yu was still in thought. His happiness may bring great pain to Mo Ye in the future. Even if he doesn’t become a weapon for Juli Corp, Mo Ye may become a specimen for their research; that’s what he was afraid of the most. In his heart, Mo Ye was a noble being, so how could he be destroyed by the desires of human interests?
Wu Yun couldn’t bear to keep watching. He pressed the button to roll down the window. Wind and sand came pouring in, both tickling and stinging their faces to the point where they weren’t able to open their eyes.
Zhou Yu did not look out the window at Mo Ye and kept his gaze locked to the front.
Be firm… Zhou Yu.
Don’t look at him… Don’t look at him…
If you look into his eyes, then your heart will soften!
Although the window was rolled down, Mo Ye didn’t try to go inside at all. He merely kept his front paws on the window and stared at Zhou Yu with rounded eyes. They seemed to be filled with water on the verge of overflowing and flooding the entire world.
Mo Ye also had times when he was stubborn. He insisted on getting Zhou Yu’s affirmation, and he needed Zhou Yu to also need him. Without a nod from Zhou Yu, he would rather stay outside the vehicle than come in, but he did so without leaving.
Even though Zhou Yu did not communicate with Mo Ye, he could still sense how sad Mo Ye was feeling. His heart was filled with shards of ice, both freezing and painful from the pricking of its fragments.
It was quiet in the vehicle. Everyone was waiting for Zhou Yu’s decision.
“Hrrn…” Mo Ye made a crying sound. It was a soft, aggrieved, and sorrowful tone, and countless emotions rushed into Zhou Yu’s mind, instantly tearing down the walls he’d built.
He reached out and rubbed Mo Ye’s, then pulled him inside.
Mo Ye made a whimpering sound and curled up, squeezing himself into Zhou Yu’s arms.
Zhou Yu encircled him with both arms as if something he lost had been found again.
This is the first time that he’d hugged Mo Ye so tightly. He suddenly found that starting from some time ago, he really couldn’t part from the little thing anymore.
The little thing was growing more and more powerful day by day. Now, it was no longer Zhou Yu who took care of him. Instead, Mo Ye was the one who risked his life to protect Zhou Yu in Nibelungen.
Protecting Zhou Yu had become instinct to Mo Ye.
If it wasn’t for Zhou Yu’s sake, then no one would really know how powerful Mo Ye was.
Wu Yun smiled and started up the car. He shouted, “Come on! Let’s go to the observation station!”
In the back row, Li Qian patted his chest and breathed out a sigh of relief. After all, he’d watched Mo Ye grow up too. Although wild animals raised from its infancy should be released back into nature once they grow up, he was also reluctant to say goodbye to Mo Ye.
While still being held by Zhou Yu, Mo Ye leaned his head on Zhou Yu’s shoulder to stare back at Li Qian. He winked at Li Qian. His naughty smile made Li Qian realize that the little thing had been pretending to be pitiful; he already knew that there was no way Zhou Yu would actually be cruel enough to drive him away.
“What a bad little thing!” Li Qian shook his head, amused.
“What bad thing?” Zhou Qing asked in bewilderment beside him.
“Nothing… I’m talking about the compressed biscuits! They’re too dry! I can’t swallow it!” Li Qian was feeling a little sour. Maybe he didn’t even count as a friend to Mo Ye!
But he didn’t think that Mo Ye would blink at him again, as if to say: What nonsense are you thinking?! Of course I think of you as a friend!
Li Qian’s injured heart was suddenly not so painful anymore.
Wu Yun petted Mo Ye’s head and said with a smile, “Luckily, you didn’t leave. You should know that there are a lot of watermelons at the observation station. You can eat them to your heart’s content! If you’d left, you’ll never get to eat watermelon again for the rest of your life!”
Zhou Yu was left speechless. He knew that not only was there no vodka at the observation station, there were also no fruits like watermelon.
He reached out and slapped the back of Wu Yun’s head. At the same time, Mo Ye stretched out his paw and hit Wu Yun on the shoulder. Wu Yun almost hit his head on the steering wheel. He wordlessly looked at Mo Ye and Zhou Yu, who both stared straight ahead, completely ignoring Wu Yun’s expression.
Zhou Yu hugged Mo Ye the entire way. He said to himself that since Mo Ye had chosen him without any hesitation, he wouldn’t give up Mo Ye so easily again from now on.
Mo Ye seemed to sense Zhou Yu’s thoughts. He rubbed his head gently against Zhou Yu’s cheek. In that moment of tenderness, Zhou Yu closed his eyes and let go of all his worries.
They drove all the way to the observation station. It was on the edge of a primeval forest without any tall trees nearby.
It is only a quarter of the size of their base. There were six scientists and twelve guards living there. Their arrival would liven up the station.
Wu Yun and Zhou Yu, as the two in charge of the convoy, input their IDs. The gates of the observation station slowly opened, and their fleet drove in one after another.
At the end of the passage stood a middle-aged man in a white lab coat and rimless glasses. He was Professor Lu Zhenlu, the director of the observation station.
He looked somewhat nervous and he was clenching his fingers. Behind him were three guards.
“He’s wearing a suit under his lab coat and he has rimless glasses. Why do I think he has Song Zhi’s style?” Wu Yun said half-jokingly.
“I don’t think so at all. Professor Lu is a timid man and not good at conversing with others.” Zhou Qing said.
“I don’t care whether Professor Lu is like Mr. Song or if he’s timid or not… I just want to know if my bed here is at least the same size it was in the base. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I can fall asleep.” Li Qian said.
Professor Lu had walked up to Wu Yun’s window, and Wu Yun quickly rolled it down. “Hello, Professor Lu, we’ll have to trouble you this time. I’ll leave these valuable researchers in your hands. Please send a message to notify Mr. Song Zhi of our base that we’ve completed the first task.”
Professor Lu nodded, looking nervous. “O-Of course… You must be tired from traveling, I have lunch prepared for you.”
Mo Ye, who had been lying on Zhou Yu’s knees, suddenly straightened out. He tilted his head and stared at Professor Lu, who turned away as if he was afraid of looking at Mo Ye.
Wu Yun also noticed this. He smiled and reached out to rub Mo Ye’s head. “Although he’s a creature from Nibelungen, he’s also our friend. It was he who protected us so that we were able to successfully complete the escort mission. You don’t have to be afraid of him, Professor Lu, he won’t hurt anyone.”
“Ah… Is that so… Of course. Let me show you around the observation station.” Professor Lu forced himself to looked up at Mo Ye.
Li Qian reached out to pat Wu Yun on the shoulder, saying, “Aren’t you supposed to go to Base 2 to get the matrilineal specimen of Nibelungen jellyfish? You can leave us here with some guards. Hurry up and carry out your next task, there are a lot of people in the base waiting for the virus to be decrypted!”
“Oh… I almost forgot that you still have other tasks to carry out. What a pity, we made some vegetable bacon rice with gravy. It’s really delicious.” Professor Lu smiled regretfully.
Wu Yun dangled his arm out the window and smiled lazily. “No way, of course we’ll have the vegetable bacon rice with gravy. We had compressed biscuits the entire way here. How can we carry out our next task before we eat something new and recharge?! Also, do you have any vodka?”
Professor Lu revealed an awkward expression. “We don’t have any vodka… But we have beer.”
“Beer is great too!”
Wu Yun opened the door and got out. Li Qian was about to comment that Wu Yun was shirking his duties and slacking off when Zhou Yu also got out of the vehicle with Mo Ye.
“Mo Ye, you can try some vegetable bacon rice with gravy in a moment.” Zhou Yu raised his hand and Mo Ye reached out his paw to touch Zhou Yu’s finger before following him.
Li Qian didn’t expect that Zhou Yu would also ignore an important task like Wu Yun.
Wu Yun took out his handheld radio and spoke into it. “CODE BLUE.”
This usually meant that the field personnel could relax their guards, but Li Qian grew nervous because he remembered that Song Zhi had specifically informed everyone of their altered warnings codes before leaving the base. If a CODE BLUE was issued, then it meant that all the guards should be on alert.
Zhou Qing’s expression also became serious. Li Qian could faintly discern that there was something wrong with the observation station, and the problem seemed to be very serious. Zhou Yu, Zhou Qing, and Wu Yun had all realized it.
Professor Lu introduced the layout of the observation station as he walked, but Li Qian found that there were not as many people in the observation station as he expected. Juli Corp had sent a team of five researchers and twelve guards to stay here, but so far, the only people he saw were Professor Lu and two researchers in the lab. However, the researchers were not carrying out any research and they simply sat there. Other than the three guards following Professor Lu, the rest of the people were nowhere to be found.
Li Qian couldn’t help but ask, “Where are the other researchers and guards?”
Professor Lu didn’t answer immediately but went on talking about the weather in the last two days.
Wu Yun crossed his arms, he wasn’t interested in Professor Lu’s tour of the station. He also asked, “Huh? Yeah, where are the others? This is just an observation station, you don’t need to go out into the field, do you? All the guards need to do is to protect the observation station. How come everyone’s gone?”
This observation station was not very big, but hearing their own footsteps echo down the halls under the cold hue of the lighting gave off a chilling sensation.
“Um… Well, we’re also researchers here, so we want to study the biology of Nibelungen as much as possible. After hearing that you were coming with at least 20 guards to be stationed here, several of my colleagues became impatient and were accompanied outside by nine guards to collect samples nearby.” Professor Lu readjusted his glasses and replied.
“Oh, so that’s what happened! You sure have some guts.” Wu Yun shot a look at Zhou Yu.
“Nine people to protect three researchers should be more than enough, right? And they won’t go far. They’ll be back in an hour or two.”
“Did you report your actions to Mr. Song? Did you get his permission?” Zhou Yu asked.
“Of course.” Professor Lu stopped. “This is the dining hall. Enjoy your meal.”
“Aren’t you eating with us? What about the other workers in the observation station?!” Wu Yun asked.
Professor Lu waved his hands and said, “Lunch was specially prepared for you. We’ve already eaten.”
“Oh—well, thank you so much, Professor Lu.” Wu Yun smiled.
Before Professor Lu could turn around and leave, Mo Ye ran up to him and looked up. Although he was looking up from below, there was still an indescribable sense of oppression. Professor Lu stumbled back a little then stood steady again and patted his chest. He said to Zhou Yu, “This little guy gave me a scare.”
Zhou Yu looked at Professor Lu and said nothing.
Professor Lu nodded stiffly and left with his guards.
Sitting at the table, Li Qian gulped upon seeing the vegetable bacon rice with gravy. The scent of the bacon was tantalizing.
But Wu Yun and Zhou never picked up their chopsticks. Without further instructions from the two of them, the guards and researchers sitting around the table did not move to eat either.