Reason for seclusion: Their appearance is different from ordinary people’s.
Chu Rong turned off the recording and glanced at his three subordinates. He knocked on the table and said, “Your conclusion.”
“The results of the lie detector have 80% credibility. Combined with Qiao’s character, I think his experience regarding the appearance of the black hole is true.” Fan Xiangnan frowned and looked at Chu Rong, “Sir, we must remind the border planets to be on guard. Now that the black hole reappeared again, it signifies danger.”
Chu Rong nodded and replied, “I’ve sent a message to my elder brother. He will arrange it.”
“On all the planets known to the Federation, there is no valley called Pariet or a mountain range called Alec. I guess the names of these two places are direct transliterations1[T/N: Transliteration refers to the process of transferring a word from the alphabet of one language to another. It helps people pronounce words and names in foreign languages (Vocabulary, n. d.).] by Qiao himself from his language and the names used by their indigenous tribe. Yesterday, I re-examined the mine thieves and found new clues. They had bought a batch of cheap, unidentified slaves from a human trafficker on the border planet of the Federation. I suspect that Qiao came from there.” Lin Zhen added the new clues he obtained from the interrogation he once again conducted.
Chu Rong’s expression grew cold and said, “It really is a group of dishonest men. Continue the interrogation until they can no longer tell lies!”
Lin Zhen nodded to show that he understood.
“QiaoQiao’s response…” Zhuang Yu’s brows were knitted in concern. Finally, she said, “It’s very similar to a reaction after experiencing trauma, such as self-evasion, confined memories, and lack of security. I watched the video of him in class and noticed that everything was normal before he learned the word “black hole.” After learning the word, his behavior started to become unusual, like he thought of something terrible. After that, he hid in his room and came out with a wound on his wrist. If it wasn’t for Captain Tan coming to find him, maybe… In addition, I checked the search history of his light brain and I found out that he really searched for the ‘black hole’ after returning to his room.”
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Fs yqvla plyanbkdt qsa vbl “czynj bszl,” bl oswdele bkxplzq?
Mbl svbla vball rlsrzl yzz zssjle shla. Ubw Ssdt qasodle yde pyke kd y ellr hsknl, “Usdvkdwl.”
“Gp ol yzz jdso, vbl wdkeldvkqkle ayup aydesxzu alzlyple qasx vbl czynj bszl byhl y nbydnl vs rszzwvl sa ekalnvzu elpvasu prkakvwyz rsola…” Hbwydt Zw lmrzykdle yp pbl tzydnle yv Ubw Ssdt. Fllkdt vbyv bl eked’v lmbkckv ydu rlnwzkya alynvksd, pbl nsdvkdwle, “Usdpkelakdt CkysCkys’p F-zlhlz rbupkiwl, bkp rakxyau prkakvwyz rsola pbswze yv zlypv cl U-zlhlz. Mbl eyxytkdt rasnlpp vs vbl prkakvwyz rsola nywple cu vbl ale vkd sal kp hlau pzso. Ohld okvb vbl kdqzwldnl sq vbl prkakvwyz rsola pwrralppsa, kv okzz vyjl vos vs vball xsdvbp vs nsxrzlvlzu elpvasu y U-zlhlz prkakvwyz rsola yrvkvwel. Gnnsaekdt vs vbl nsdqlppksdp sq vbl xkdl vbklhlp, CkysCkys sdzu yaakhle yv vbl czynj xkdl qsa rsppkczu zlpp vbyd y xsdvb. Rd yeekvksd vs bkp pvaydtl nlppyvksd sq elhlzsrxldv, R twlpp vbyv bkp cseu oyp plhlalzu yqqlnvle cu vbl ayekyvksd qasx vbl czynj bszl clqsal bl oyp nywtbv. Mbl ale vkd salp sdzu xyel vbkdtp osapl. Ohlausdl jdsop vbyv xldvyz eyxytl xyu nywpl xlxsau ekpsaela yde xldvyz alvyaeyvksd…”
“Tl kp hlau pxyav.” Ubw Ssdt qasodle yde srrsple bla zypv pldvldnl.
Nkd Hbld dseele kd ytallxldv, “Zlp, bl zlyadp hlau qypv yde bkp kdvlzzktldnl iwsvkldv pbswze dsv cl zso.”
“R jdso. Ebyv R xlyd kp…” Hbwydt Zw vssj ydsvbla zssj yv Ubw Ssdt ytykd, takvvle bla vllvb yde pyke, “Mbl ayekyvksd kdqzwldnl sq vbl czynj bszl byp ds pszwvksd qsa vbl vkxl clkdt. Tkp zspv xlxsau xyu dlhla nsxl cynj.”
Mbyv oyp vs pyu, ds sdl oswze jdso vbl saktkd sq Ckys Hbkuy wdvkz vbl alyz rzynl nyzzle Vyaklv oyp qswde.
Gqvla tskdt yaswde, vbkdtp oldv cynj vs vbl saktkdyz rskdv. Mbl yvxsprblal kd vbl nsdqlaldnl assx oyp y ckv pvytdydv.
If they wanted to find out the origins of Qiao Zhiya, there was actually another solution. That was to send people to all possible marginal stars to search for traces of the reclusive race being exterminated by insects. However, since it was a reclusive race, it must be very difficult to find traces of its habitation. There were also so many border planets in the Federation, searching for it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. If Qiao Zhiya was actually a refuge from the Empire, the search would be even more impossible. Once the insects appear along with the black hole, if they were not injured after killing, they would immediately retract into the black hole to absorb power and evolve, becoming dormant and waiting for their next sudden attack. It was difficult to implement this method of searching to find the trajectory of the insects. In short, the clue was broken again.
“Sir, he’s a good child, he can’t…” Zhuang Yu was a little anxious, only thinking that Little Cutie was extremely pitiful. She could almost make up a story in her head about how Little Cutie ended up like this. First, because the black hole caused him to lose his parents and clansmen, his spiritual strength and body were all damaged. Then, he was caught by human traffickers and sold to the thieves. He was then transported to a rotten place where birds don’t even shit… It was too miserable. If it wasn’t for the chief to come and inspect, the cutie might have died here silently.
Chu Rong recovered from his thoughts, waved his hand to interrupt her, and called out, “Lin Zhen.”
Lin Zhen looked at him, remembering the phrase “another self” that Fan Xiangnan said, paused, and temporarily threw this thought at the back of his head. He opened a document and said in a hurry, “The federal marginal planets that the thieves have reached include D-level 12, D-level 67, D-level 93, and F-level 78. Among them, traces of reclusive tribes were found on D-level 67 and F-level 78 where some slaves purchased by the mine thieves came from. Eight reclusive tribes have been discovered on these two planets wherein— each has the same reason, most of which are strange in appearance and different from ordinary people. “
“F-78’s, the newly discovered reclusive group, reason for seclusion: Their appearance is different from ordinary people’s. The ethnic group was killed due to an accident, only one member survived.” Chu Rong opened his mouth and directly made up an origin for Qiao Zhiya.
Fan Xiangnan frowned, “Sir…”
“Transfer his files under the Chu family, set up an encryption, and fill in my name as the legal person in charge. If something goes wrong with him, I will bear full responsibility.” Chu Rong could not tolerate dangerous variables before finalizing his decision, and so he added, “In the event that he harbors evil intentions, I will personally kill him.”
Zhuang Yu couldn’t help but cheer. Seeing the officer look over coldly, she sat down in silence and said with a low cough, “Sir, actually, this is not the case of going through the back door, so you don’t have to bear the burden of any responsibility. According to Federal Law, an orphan with a third-degree disability and unclear origin like QiaoQiao can also obtain official federal resident status after passing a certain supervision period. Now that you just took the initiative to accept his supervision right, you don’t have to think too much about it.”
“I’m not overthinking.” Chu Rong withdrew his gaze and picked up the recording, “The meeting is over. If you have nothing to do, go and help the investigation team to cover up the imperial warship. We have stayed here for too long and someone will surely poke their nose into this.”
The three of them looked at each other, tacitly setting Qiao Zhiya’s affairs as confidential in their hearts, and turned to leave.
Waking up from a chaotic dream that was completely incomprehensible, Qiao Zhiya sat up and stared at the pile of shiny magical stones next to his pillow. He was at a loss for a while, and then, with a low cry of surprise, he threw himself on them.
—One of these was the magic stone he picked up in the underground warship that day! The White-Haired Monster returned it to him! It seemed that he also gave him a few more!
After a brief excitement, he remembered his conversation with Chu Rong before falling asleep, raised his hand silly and touched his ears. His face was a little red. The White-Haired Monster was so good as he even coaxed him to sleep— although his expression was very impatient… … He wanted to ask: The White-Haired Monster was willing to return the magic stone, did it mean that he had gained their approval?
Great joy surged out of his chest. He laid down on the magic stones again, remembering the uncomfortable feeling he felt from the White-haired Monster during their conversation. He quickly found the biggest top wood magic stone from the magic stone pile and then took out the magic book that his father had prepared for him in the storage ring. He opened a section containing magic arrays.
Advanced Strengthening Magic Array, Advanced Teleportation Magic Array, Advanced Protection Magic Array, Advanced Purification Magic Array, Advanced Healing Magic Array— This was it! Advanced Purification and Advanced Healing Magic Array! These two magic arrays had the most similar effects to wood magic!
He now knew that the power of human cultivation in this place was called spiritual power, a kind of soul power, which almost everyone had. However, he was not a human being, so naturally, there was no spiritual power in his body. Furthermore, magic power was definitely foreign here and couldn’t be discovered by anyone.
He had thought of using magic power to cure the White-Haired Monster before, but now, he had hesitations. Magic power could not be directly used, so he could only use magic arrays as an alternative. Although the effect of using the magic array was not comparable to straightforwardly using magic power, the process was much gentler and not easy to be noticed. It’s currently the most suitable method.
Thinking of this, he became happy and hurriedly began to study the illustration methods of these two magic arrays.
Ten minutes later, he twisted his eyebrows and put down the magic book, feeling a little upset. Although his aptitude had increased, he had only changed from the level of being unable to practice magic to a junior magician— he still couldn’t draw a high-level magic array.
Moreover, he forgot that he had never really drawn these advanced magic arrays before. He only had theoretical knowledge in his mind. If he tried, the success rate would probably be ugly.
—Let’s just start practicing from the basic magic array then. First, he would try drawing on the low-level jade. After getting familiar with it, he could then use the top magic stone. Regarding the White-Haired Monster, he could only let him wait.
There was a wave of gift-giving that suddenly started on the warship and the initiator was Qiao Zhiya, who had become energetic again.
After finally recognizing and accepting his own current situation, and letting go of the big stone in his heart, the dwarf who loves to create and do things finally released his nature, drooling at all the machines he saw and making some cute gadgets anytime and anywhere.
“Zhuang Yu-jie 2[T/N: Zhuang Yu-jie (姐) means older sister Zhuang Yu.].” After lunch, Qiao Zhiya went to Zhuang Yu’s medical room where she worked. He looked around like a thief, ran over with a blushing face, and stuffed a light green vine-shaped hairpin to her hand. His eyes were darting around but never dared to look at her eyes. He quickly said, “Here, for you. You can use it to hold your bangs. Thank you for taking care of me. Thank you.” Then he turned around and ran away, his hair fluttering and his pointed ears blushing.
Zhuang Yu glanced at the cute little hairpin in her hand and was stunned. She then covered her face with a low cry and hurriedly ran after him, “QiaoQiao, come back! Jiejie will give you a physical examination again. Come back quickly!”
Hearing that, Qiao Zhiya ran faster.
After the afternoon training, Qiao Zhiya also went to Tan Shengwei, threw a small mechanical doll over, and quickly said, “I heard that you have a sister. This was a broken robot I modified and it can now sing a song.”
“Hey, how do you know I have a sister—Qiao, where are you going? That’s not right, the cafeteria is over there!”
During breakfast, Fan Xiangnan ran into Qiao Zhiya in the cafeteria. When he passed by to say hello, his hand suddenly sank— there was a mechanical-style metal pendant. The pendant was very cute and peculiar, and it would dance with metal arms.
Fan Xiangnan was stunned and glanced at Qiao Zhiya who was already running away. He shook his head and laughed.
After the morning class, Qiao Zhiya oddly took the first step out the door which was disrespecting to his teacher.
Lin Zhen frowned, glanced over at the modified electronic pen lying alone on the desk, and picked it up.
In the meeting room, Chu Rong sat in the head seat with a cold face, looking at some of his subordinates, slowly scanning the hairpin on Zhuang Yu’s head, the pendant on Fan Xiangnan’s electronic file, and the electronic pen in Lin Zhen’s hand. He irritatedly knocked on the table, “If you have something to say, just tell me already. I’m very busy.”
Zhuang Yu giggled, Fan Xiangnan pretended not to see the chief’s displeasure, and Lin Zhen tapped on the cover of the document with his pen and said, “I just received the notice from the Federal Government, saying that given your noble status, someone will be sent to help you share the task of inspecting the border.”
This caused Chu Rong to be even more unhappy, and coldly rebuked, “Share? I think it’s to monitor. That’s right, they are just a bunch of idiots who don’t know the situation!”
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