When Chu Rong found him, Qiao Zhiya was running. He was sweating all over his body and his face flushed extremely red as if he was about to die out of exhaustion.
“Come down.” Chu Rong grabbed his collar, pulled him off the machine, and rudely rubbed his wet hair stuck on his forehead. He frowned and admonishingly said, “Training should be done moderately. What are you doing? Who asked you to train like this?”
Qiao Zhiya didn’t see him for many days. He was stunned for a while before realizing that he came to see him. A smile appeared on his face and his ears shook. He intimately asked, “Are you no longer busy? Hello, I’m Qiao Zhiya.” After introducing himself, he expectantly looked at him, waiting for his introduction.
The young man’s soft voice was a little hoarse due to exercise. The pronunciation of Common Language was very standard. Although the speaking rate was reduced, there was no observed language problem. It could be seen that he has studied very hard and frequently practiced.
What an obedient and hardworking Bald Chicken.
Chu Rong’s expression was unreadable. His hand moved to his unconsciously shaking pointed ears and straightforwardly said, “Tell me where you came from, I need an answer.”
The smile on Qiao Zhiya’s face froze. He quickly recovered and looked at him with a dazed and confused expression as if he didn’t understand what he said.
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Ubw Ssdt piwkdvle, rwzzle bkp lya, yde pyke nszezu, “Psd’v ralvlde usw esd’v wdelapvyde. Nkd Hbld pyke vbyv vbl qypvlpv vbkdtp usw zlyadv olal zkpvldkdt yde oakvkdt. Mbl vkrp sq uswa lyap pbyjl ps cyezu swv sq qlya vbyv usw nyddsv elnlkhl ydusdl. Mlzz xl vbl vawvb sa usw okzz cl vbasod sqq vbl oyapbkr.”
Tl oyp zsdt qyxkzkya okvb vbl nsze yde hknkswp vsdl, cwv vbkp vkxl, bl nswze qkdyzzu wdelapvyde vbl nsdvldv— vbl Ebkvl-Tykale Ysdpvla oyp y tsse xyd, vbswtb bl wple osaep qsa pnyakdt zkvvzl nbkzeald.
Ckys Hbkuy zsolale bkp lulp, alxshle bkp nsdqwple xypj vbyv oyp lypkzu clld plld vbaswtb. Tl zssjle yv vbl xyd okvb kddsnldv lulp, rwzzle esod bkp byde awcckdt bkp lya, dseele, yde zsolale bkp hsknl, “Xjyu, R’zz vlzz usw.” Tl pyke yde tlpvwale kd vbl ekalnvksd sq bkp assx, oydvkdt vs ts vblal vs vyzj.
Tsolhla, Ubw Ssdt tayccle bkp yax yde rwzzle bkx cynj. Tl pbssj bkp cydeytle oakpv okvb yd lhld osapl lmralppksd, “Tso eke vbkp byrrld? Myd Fbldtolk1[M/L: Fllxp zkjl Uyrvykd Myd’p tkhld dyxl kp alyzzu Fbldtolk.]!”
Myd Fbldtolk, obs bye clld ryukdt yvvldvksd vs vbl Ubklq pkdnl bl nyxl kd, awpble shla yde kxxlekyvlzu alprsdele okvb y zswe hsknl, oykvkdt qsa bkp saela.
“Qkhl xl bkp vaykdkdt rzyd.” Ubw Ssdt pvalvnble swv bkp byde.
Myd Fbldtolk vssj swv y vlynbkdt alnsae csyae qasx bkp prynl cwvvsd yde bydele kv shla. Gv vbl pyxl vkxl, bl lmrzykdle, “Slrsavkdt vs vbl nbklq, bl byp y byde kdfwau, ps vseyu’p vaykdkdt ynvkhkvklp byhl clld nbydtle. Gax pvalvnbkdt byp clld alxshle yde awddkdt vkxl byp clld kdnalyple. Rd yeekvksd, bkp oakpv oyp ynnkeldvyzzu nwv oswdele. Mbl oswde byp clld valyvle yde kv kp lmrlnvle vs blyz kd vball eyup!”
Jlqsal bl bye vkxl vs ypj iwlpvksdp, vblu bye yzz yzalyeu clld ydpolale. Ubw Ssdt tyhl bkx y nsze zssj, vbalo vbl dsvlcssj cynj, yde ktdsale bkx. Tl tlpvwale vs Ckys Hbkuy vs zlye vbl oyu okvb y eyaj lmralppksd.
Qiao Zhiya glanced at Tan Shengwei apologetically and hurriedly led the chief out of the training room.
In accordance with Qiao Zhiya’s identity as a freed slave, the room allocated to him by the logistics department was relatively small, with simple furnishings, including a bed, a table, a chair, a wardrobe, and a small private bathroom. For the “primitive” Qiao Zhiya, this room was already very good, but for Chu Rong, who had long arms and legs, it was a bit uncomfortable to stay in this small room. Fortunately, he still remembered that he was the warship’s chief master and he participated in the formulation of various regulations on the ship. He did not unreasonably express any opinions on the allocation of this room.
Letting Chu Rong sit on the soft bed, Qiao Zhiya dragged over the only stool in the room, and sat on the opposite side of him like a prisoner preparing to confess. He then took out the electronic textbook from the space button and turned it to the latest learning page. He handed it over and directly confessed, “It was the black hole that made me leave my parents and fall into the hands of the thieves. Afterwards, you found me.”
Through observations over the past few days, he has determined the identity of the White-Haired Monster and his team as soldiers. If the incident of him originally coming from a black hole was revealed, they would be the first one to point their weapons at him— that was a scenario he never wanted to see.
He didn’t want to lie to the White-Haired Monster, but he couldn’t tell the truth2[T/N: He may be pertaining to where he truly and specifically came from.], so he could only use this vague way to mislead the other person. This was a countermeasure he thought about while running. His parents were still waiting for him to go home. He had to keep himself alive and not die here.
Sure enough, Chu Rong was misled. His momentum rose abruptly and his mental power gushed out uncontrollably. He asked coldly, “Do you understand what you’re talking about?! Don’t indiscriminately use the new words you learned!”
The manic turbulence swept the whole room in an instant. Qiao Zhiya stared at him speechlessly in shock — what’s the matter? Why was this uncomfortable feeling still exist? Didn’t Sister Zhuang Yu cure the White-Haired Monster?
Meeting his frightened sight, Chu Rong frowned fiercely. He retracted his mental strength, suppressing the unconsciously rising hostility in his heart and enduring the tingling sensation in his brain. He took out a silver ball from the space button. Within the ball-shaped object engraved with the micro-chapter mark, two wires were pulled out from it, and he coldly said, “Extend your hand.”
The discomfort disappeared again.
Qiao Zhiya paused. He slowly stretched out his hand.
There were two wires, one long and one short. The short one was attached to his wrist by Chu Rong while the longer one was wrapped around his arm, extending into his neckline, and attached to his heart.
“Put your hands on it and close your eyes.”
Qiao Zhiya put his hands on it obediently, forcing himself to calm down, and closed his eyes— don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, the White-Haired Monster won’t hurt him. He won’t.
In the darkness in front of him, the other senses of his body immediately became more magnified. The sphere in his hands was warm, like the fruit of the Tree of Life used by the elves to bless newborns. Chu Rong’s breathing was very light and wouldn’t even be heard if he didn’t listen carefully. He could faintly smell the fragrance of a fruit at the tip of his nose. It was Tan Shengwei’s special fruit spray for relieving the pain on his wrist.
His flustered heart slowly calmed down and his hold on the ball loosed. Finally relaxed, he thought that it didn’t matter— it was better to have a clear conscience.
Chu Rong looked at Qiao Zhiya who was wearing an expression of resignation as if finally ready to face death. He frowned and asked, “What is your name?”
Qiao Zhiya, who thought he would be beaten, was stunned, and quickly replied, “Qiao Zhiya.”
“Where did you come from?” “
“How did you get here?”
The indicator light on the sphere was always dark, indicating that the Bald Chicken did not lie. Ten years had passed, it truly seemed that the black hole reappeared.
Chu Rong’s breathing became heavy. Looking at Qiao Zhiya’s curled eyelashes and the shadows their casting, he asked in more detail, “Where is Pariet Valley? How did the black hole bring you here? Who are the mine thieves? How did they catch you? Did something else come out of the black hole? How did you escape?”
Qiao Zhiya, a beginner of Common Language, was confused by his series of non-stop questions. He barely understood the first sentence and hesitated. After a while, he vaguely replied, “Alec Mountains, I don’t know, I don’t know.” Anyway, he didn’t understand it, so the answer should not be considered a lie.
The indicator light was still dark and Chu Rong frowned. As Lin Zhen said, the Bald Chicken had indeed forgotten how he was caught.
He didn’t ask anymore, but instead asked about his main purpose of personally coming this time, “Where are your parents now?”
Qiao Zhiya was silent.
“Want me to throw you off the warship?” Chu Rong reached out to pinch his ears and pulled threateningly.
“I don’t know.” Qiao Zhiya recalled the time when his parents said goodbye to him before going on a tour, feeling down, “There are many places they want to go. I don’t know where they will go first.” Maybe it’s a human town, maybe it’s the territory of the elves. His parents were always very casual, he really didn’t know.
Chu Rong withdrew his hand. His expression was not good— what irresponsible parents. They actually left a lone child behind and went out to have a good time.
“Then do you know how to get home and contact your tribe?”
Go home? But where is home…
“I can’t go back.” His wrist seemed to hurt again. His dwindling hope of being able to come back home was amplifying his feelings of vulnerablity 3[T/N: The actual phrase was 黑暗放大了软弱, which literally translates to ‘The darkness magnified his weakness.’]. He strained his expression in an attempt to hide his emotions and shook his head, “I can’t go back for the time being, but it’s okay. I—I’ll find my way home.”
His curled eyelashes trembled, faintly stained with a trace of moisture, and his voice seemed to be a little hoarse and softer. Chu Rong felt like a villain who bullied a child. After sorting out the words he said, a conjecture suddenly appeared in his heart. He frowned, sat up straight, stared at him, and asked, “What happened after you saw that black hole?”
“I was transported here.”
“You’re not telling the truth!”
The indicator did not light up. Chu Rong withdrew his gaze, his expression became serious, and he hurriedly asked, “Are your people still alive?”
“Are your parents still alive?”
“Do you have a way to contact them?”
“Then why don’t you contact them?”
“Because, because…” Qiao Zhiya was so cornered by him that he couldn’t think. He couldn’t help but stubbornly look at him with widened red eyes, pressed his lips tightly, and stopped talking.
Chu Rong directly looked at him, slowed down, and asked, “Because you tried, but you couldn’t contact them, right?”
Qiao Zhiya was startled and looked down to avoid his gaze.
“Are they no longer here?”
“No.” Qiao Zhiya shook his head, feeling a little flustered.
“No! They are still alive! They are still waiting for me to come home!” He suddenly broke down. He didn’t want to think about those tragic possibilities. He got up and wanted to tear off the wires on his wrist and chest. No, the appearance of a black hole did not mean that insects would definitely appear. Strange insects and monsters have never appeared in the Magic Continent. The people in his hometown must be safe, and so were his parents. The only one who met with an accident was himself. Don’t think about it, don’t think about it!
The indicator light was not on, proving that the other party really thought so.
Chu Rong held his hands, pulled him, trapped his body with his legs, and forced him to look at him. He said with a stern face but a softer tone,”Calm down! One last question, Qiao Zhiya, are you going to hurt us?”
Qiao Zhiya didn’t try to break away, staring blankly at him and blinking to suppress his tears. He turned his head. With a voice a bit unstable, he responded in a firm tone, “No, I won’t hurt you. You saved me and I will repay you.”
The indicator light never turned on. Chu Rong raised his hand and rudely wiped his tears away. He said, “What a disgrace. I didn’t hit you, what are you even crying for?”
Qiao Zhiya became increasingly embarrassed by his wiping. He tilted his head on his shoulder and wiped away his tears. He honestly put his hand on the ball, no longer tried to break away, and regained his well-behaved appearance. However, he became less energetic.
“You don’t need to go training tomorrow.” Chu Rong pulled his ears, stretched out his hand to pull the wire on his wrist, and said casually, “Why was your wrist wounded? Don’t play with dangerous things when you are alone.”
Seeing that he was no longer aggressive and his aura became gentle, Qiao Zhiya slowly relaxed, and replied, “It was cut by a piece of sharp jade. The wound was not deep, it wasn’t…”
The instrument that has not been removed yet suddenly alarmed and the indicator light was flashing.
Qiao Zhiya was startled and quickly withdrew his hand.
Chu Yung immediately frowned, pulled his hand back, and said with a grave voice, “Tell the truth! This is a lie detector customized by the Chu family. If you won’t lie, it won’t ring. Why are you lying? “
Lie detector? Is there such a thing here? Qiao Zhiya’s heart began to beat frantically, trying to remember what he had just answered. He wanted to withdraw his hand and shook his head, “I didn’t…”
“Tell me honestly the truth!” Chu Rong commanded.
“I, I…” Qiao Zhiya became more and more flustered. He was worried about whether he had inadvertently said something, and for a moment, he couldn’t find the right words to cover up. The alarm of the lie detector sounded like rings of death, which rendered him unable to think calmly.
“If you won’t tell me the truth, I’ll have you arrested!”
“I did it myself!” Qiao Zhiya yelled the truth and quickly retracted his hand. He also struggled to retreat a few steps, looking at him pitifully and in fear, “Don’t arrest me, I never wanted to hurt you. Don’t arrest me, don’t kill me… Mom and Dad are still waiting for me. Don’t kill me…” In the end, he couldn’t help putting his hand on the storage ring, which seemed to give him a sense of security.
Chu Rong didn’t speak anymore. He looked at Qiao Zhiya who was shrinking in the corner, remembering himself who couldn’t face reality after losing his parents many years ago. He stood up, pulled him into his arms, and rubbed the soft hair on the back of his head. He comforted, still with a cold tone, “Don’t be afraid, everything will be okay.”
Being embraced securely by the other’s arms, seemingly perfectly fitted within, and the comfort coming from the other alleviated the anxiety in his heart. Qiao Zhiya put his hand on his arm. His nose was sore, rubbing his face against his arms.
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PS: Don’t, don’t ask for more, I’m afraid QvQ