Zhan Yanchao had a dream.
In the dream, he was an invisible third person.
He saw a youth who looked exactly the same as him waving around his whip, lashing Ji Zuoshan until he was curled up into a ball.
Ji Zuoshan’s limbs were incredibly delicate and weak, the standard Omega body type. With practised movements, he wrapped his arms around his head, leaving every other part of him to the lashes of the whip, as if he’d resigned himself to this d.a.m.ned life.
Zhan Yanchao was flabbergasted.
He didn’t have the time to think about how Xiao Ji had become an Omega, he could only think about how beating an Omega was something a person could do.
He went to go grab that b.a.s.t.a.r.d’s hand, to slap him across the face.
But with a swing of his hand, he only met air.
The scene changed. The person who looked exactly like him had already returned to normal. He held Ji Zuoshan in his arms, his face comfortably buried in his chest, while Ji Zuoshan had already fallen asleep, exhausted, his dark, feather-like lashes trembling slightly, like he was in some incomparably terrible dream.
Zhan Yanchao was half seething with jealousy, half burning with rage, like he was being tortured in a tub half full of ice and half full of boiling water. His entire body was trembling with anger.
How could he treat Xiao Ji like this?
The scene changed once more.
Seeing that person drag Xiao Ji along, forcing him to go to the battlefield with him, Zhan Yanchao was teetering on the brink of madness. He tried to drag the Xiao Ji in his dream back by the hand, yelling, don’t go, don’t listen to this b.a.s.t.a.r.d.
He’d seen Omegas go into heat on the frontlines. When their pheromones exploded into the air, the Alphas behaved like hungry wolves who’d caught a scent of raw meat.
Don’t go with him, it’s too dangerous——
Ji Zuoshan, do you hear me?!——
His shouts went unheard by Ji Zuoshan. Ji Zuoshan stared helplessly at the young master rolling about and raising a ruckus in front of him. After a moment of silent thought, he nodded.
Zhan Yanchao watched helplessly as the young master wrapped his arm around Ji Zuoshan’s shoulders and solemnly swore “I’ll protect you”, and watched helplessly as Ji Zuoshan, in that cramped little granary, was forced to the end of his rope by several Alphas.
He tried to drive those snarling, salivating wolves out of the granary. He waved his fists around, he even pulled out his gun.
But as an outsider to this world, his fists, his gun, were completely unable to stop the crazed beasts. The Alphas completely ignored him, pa.s.sing through his transparent body one after another, reaching their hands, covered in gun residue and machine oil, towards Ji Zuoshan.
……Ji Zuoshan was desperately crying out “Yanchao”, he was calling his name.
Zhan Yanchao cried out tearfully, “Xiao Ji, I’m here, I’m here, don’t be afraid.”
But he couldn’t even hold his hand, couldn’t even give him a word of rea.s.surance.
He woke up crying.
He was met with a view of eye-piercing white, making him squint and the tears stream faster down his face.
Zhan Yanling was sitting by his bedside, reading the news. Upon hearing the movement on the bed, he poked his head out from behind his newspaper. Seeing his younger brother sobbing silent tears, crying so hard that he couldn’t breathe, he immediately let out a “f.u.c.k”, and ran off to find a doctor or a nurse.
From the distance, Zhan Yanchao heard his brother, who had always acted rationally and elegantly, yelling, “Someone please come! My brother’s awake!”
Zhan Yanchao let out a few dry coughs, then reached out a trembling hand and pressed the call b.u.t.ton next to his bed.
Fortunately, Zhan Yanling only lost his composure for a short while. When the doctor and nurses streamed in one after another to check on Zhan Yanchao, and confirmed that he was no longer in danger of dying, he returned to being the appropriately calm Zhan Yanling.
He wasn’t wearing his military uniform, just dressed in his home clothes. Clearly, he’d been here, unwaveringly taking care of him, for a long time.
He sat back down by his bed, and pulled out a white handkerchief to wipe at the corners of his still slightly wet eyes. “It hurts that much?”
Only then did Zhan Yanchao belatedly remember the reason behind his unconsciousness.
Tricked by the tactic of showing weakness arranged by Ji Zuoshan, the Zerg put in all their military strength into launching an overwhelming, full scale invasion of the planet.
Zhan Yanchao’s division was in charge of meeting the enemy head-on. He was repeatedly trapped in a sea of Zerg, their piercing chirps incessantly filling his ears.
Zhan Yanchao’s mecha was practically torn to pieces by insect wings. However, even ten minutes after he’d lost consciousness, his body was still fighting.
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Zhan Yanling lightly slapped him over the head. “We almost didn’t manage to save you. Do you know, when Dad heard the news, he almost killed me.”
He’d asked him what he was collecting those pieces of trash for. Xiao Ji, a little embarra.s.sed, had said, in the past, when he was living on the streets with his younger siblings, newspapers were very useful for keeping warm.
The Zhan Yanchao of that time had gone out, brought back three newsstands worth of newspapers, stacked them in front of Ji Zuoshan and proudly patted himself on the chest, saying, see, if you stay with this young master, I can guarantee that you don’t go hungry or feel cold. I can get you all the newspapers you could ever want.
Little could he have imagined that he would pa.s.s up that person, as well as pa.s.s up an entire life.
Now, only this faint smell of fresh ink could let him remember the feeling of carrying the newspapers, humming a faint tune as he hurried back home.
Zhan Yanchao wanted to cry, but at the same time, he wanted to laugh.
At that moment, Zhan Yanling’s communicator rang. He picked up. After saying a few lines, he then covered the receiver, and said to Zhan Yanchao, “The military called, asking after Division Commander Zhan’s status.”
Zhan Yanchao buried his face in the newspaper. He muttered, “Tell them I’m doing well, but I can’t pick up the phone.”
Zhan Yanling said slowly, pausing after each word, “It’s General Ji personally calling to ask.”
Zhan Yanchao rolled out of bed and s.n.a.t.c.hed the phone, then pulled up his quilt and buried himself underneath, his heart thumping.
On the other end of the phone was Ji Zuoshan’s calm voice, “Division Commander Zhan, how are your injuries.”
Zhan Yanchao twisted the corner of his quilt. “I’m doing well.”
Ji Zuoshan said, “I saw the recording of your battle. You led the troops to effectively block the Zerg army’s advance. The military is currently considering awarding your regiment with a collective first cla.s.s merit and promoting you from division commander to deputy chief commander.”
Imagining the cold, indifferent expression of Ji Zuoshan on the other end of the line, Zhan Yanchao’s face burned. “Thank you.”
Ji Zuoshan said, “In two days, I, Military Staff Officer Xu and General Bai will come together to visit you at the hospital. Right now, I’m shopping with Rosie and Xiaoqing, goodbye.”
Zhan Yanchao, “Wait——”
His heart almost stopped beating, but Ji Zuoshan didn’t hang up. “En?”
Zhan Yanchao said, very, very carefully, “When you come, can you bring me my favourite fruit?”
Ji Zuoshan replied calmly, “Of course, after all, we’re coming to visit a patient.”
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