Dwarf in the Future

Chapter 25.2: Be Even (2)


“You…  want to fight me?”


A word of advice to awaken the idealist.

Mecha driving could put aside spiritual power, so why couldn’t mecha manufacturing?

Chu Rong picked up the small mechanical doll on the table, pulled its funny metal arm, and watched it jump in a strange dance, lost in thought.


Qiao Zhiya was silently sulking in his room. He was about to wash up and go to bed early when he heard a knock on the door. He was taken aback, and hurriedly put away the messy things on the ground. He then went to open the door.

“Sister Zhuang Yu-jie?”  

“Shhh.”  

Zhuang Yu put a finger to her lips, looked around, motioned him to follow her, and whispered, “Let’s go, I’ll take you to see the stars.”  

The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com

Fvyap?

Ckys Hbkuy oyp rwggzle, cwv sclekldvzu eke dsv ypj, yde bsdlpvzu fwpv qszzsole bla.

Mbl vos oyzjle vs vbl letl sq vbkp qzssa. Hbwydt Zw pokrle srld vbl essa sq vbl lzlhyvsa rzyvqsax okvb bla rypp, yde asel sd kv okvb Ckys Hbkuy. Mbl rzyvqsax pzsozu aspl, yde qkdyzzu pvsrrle sd vbl scplahyvksd elnj sd vbl wrrlaxspv zlhlz sq vbl oyapbkr.

Ckys Hbkuy zssjle wr qsszkpbzu yv vbl hypv tyzymu swvpkel vbl vaydpryaldv oyzz, bkp xswvb okel srld.

“Eso. Fs clywvkqwz…”

Hbwydt Zw pxkzle yde vssj bkx cu vbl yax yde zle bkx vs vbl pokdt nbyka kd vbl xkeezl sq vbl scplahyvksd elnj. Fbl qkapv ralpple bkx vs pkv esod, vssj swv psxl zshlzu pdynjp qasx vbl prynl cwvvsd, nsdfwale y rkvnbla sq clywvkqwz fwknl, rswale bkx y nwr, yde pyv srrspkvl bkx okvb y pxkzl.

“Mbydj usw.” Ckys Hbkuy vssj vbl fwknl, pxlzzle vbl pollv qaytaydnl qzsyvkdt kd vbl yka, yde bkp lyap pbssj— kv pxlzzle tsse, psxlbso pkxkzya vs vbl qawkv rkl bkp xsvbla xyel qsa bkx clqsal.

“Kwpv lyv, sjyu? Mbspl pvkdju xld esd’v jdso bso vs vyjl nyal sq rlsrzl yv yzz. Zsw ts vs vbl jkvnbld vs blzr lhlau eyu, yde R byhl dlhla plld vblx xyjl usw psxl pdynjp.” Hbwydt Zw rwpble vbl pdynjp kd qasdv sq bkx obkzl yzps wdnlalxsdkswpzu rswakdt ekavu oyvla sd vbl xld sdcsyae.

Qiao Zhiya was embarrassed and explained on behalf of them, “No, they actually secretly give me extra food.” It’s just that it was meat, saying that he was too skinny and he should gain weight by eating more.1[Qiao Zhiya likes nature, thus, he prefers fruits and vegetables.]

Zhuang Yu choked but quickly recovered. She waved his hand and said, “Let’s stop talking about it. QiaoQiao, we’ll soon be returning to Capital Star. Have you ever thought about what you will do in the future?”  

Qiao Zhiya, who was about to grab a snack, raised his eyes to look at Zhuang Yu and blinked.

First, it was Grandpa Ren, then the White-Haired Monster, and now it was Zhuang Yu-jie. Today, everyone liked to ask him about his future plans.

Zhuang Yu was closely watching him, getting intoxicated in his pure and clean eyes. The more she looked at him, the more she felt that such an adorable child should not be ruined by the Chief’s boorish methods. She courteously pushed a snack once again in front of him, “Although it’s still early, it’s better to prepare in advance. You see, since ancient times, people have said that doctors who save lives and heal the wounded are great. Although you have no spiritual power and cannot become a formal doctor, you can be a pharmacist. Don’t you like plants very much? Pharmacists have the most contact with a variety of plants and cute little animals. Would you like to think about it?”  

Pharmacist?

Qiao Zhiya’s ears moved, and he remembered his dream of mecha manufacturing that sunk down earlier. Although he had not given up yet, it seemed good to learn a practical skill for employment first before he could make mecha manufacturing as something he could depend on for a living. Moreover, he was preparing to learn how to make magic potions by himself. By analogy, it seemed great to first learn the potion making methods of this place.

Thinking of this, his eyes lit up, and he unconsciously moved closer to Zhuang Yu’s side, and asked, “Is it difficult to learn medicine? Is it okay to have no spiritual power?  

Seeing that he was interested, Zhuang Yu was so happy that she almost jumped up. With a wave of her slender hand, she threw out a lot of pharmacy textbooks, and said with bright eyes, “Simple! Super easy! It’s easy to get started! These are textbooks for Primary Pharmacy. Aren’t they very thin and conscientious? Come, come, come. Jiejie will now help you lay the foundation. Let me see, uh… that’s it. Let’s start with understanding all kinds of medicinal plants!”  

Qiao Zhiya glanced at the dozen or so brick books that appeared out of thin air on the table, silently swallowed, nodded, and took out his electronic tablet,2[电子本 literally translates to electronic book.] “Thank—thank you, Zhuang Yu-jie.”  


Three days later, after another space jump, the azure-blue Federation Star finally appeared in their field of vision. Everyone on the ship had finished their work one after another, waiting for the warship to land.

After arranging the slave settlement once disembarking from the ship, Chu Rong finally remembered Qiao Zhiya, whose figure he had not seen for the past few days. He called Fan Xiangnan and asked, “Where is Qiao Zhiya?”  

“Qiao?” Fan Xiangnan struggled to recall among the various kinds of matters he had arranged. He turned to his electronic tablet and replied, “Everyone’s busy with the return journey, so Qiao’s classes and training have been stopped. Zhuang Yu should be the one taking care of him these days.” 

Zhuang Yu?

Chu Rong’s eyelids twitched as he remembered Zhuang Yu’s suggestion that day. He stood up straight and said, “Inform Zhuang Yu to go to the medical room to check the equipment, confirm the safety of various equipment in the medical room, and prepare for handover.”  

“Yes.” Fan Xiangnan took out his communicator and asked, “Do you want Qiao to go back to his room? The warship will land in about an hour.”  

“No need.” Chu Rong waved his hand and strode out, “I’ll find him.”  


Zhuang Yu put down her communicator and took a look at Qiao Zhiya, who was diligently lying on the table writing and drawing. After being tangled for a while, she pressed down her frantic desire of wanting to teach this newly discovered good seedling for ten days and ten nights. She reluctantly said goodbye to Qiao Zhiya, hurried off the observation deck while holding some things, and returned to the medical room.

Qiao Zhiya watched her leave, took a look at the quarter of the encyclopedia of medicinal plants that he had learned, touched his light brain on the table, and continued to work hard— for the dwarves who were born in nature and grow in nature, it was almost a natural skill to quickly understand plants. Unfortunately, he couldn’t touch the entities of these plants now, otherwise, he could learn faster.

Knowledge really had something in common. Through the past few days of study and his conscious guidance and inquiries, he now faintly understood some slightly difficult points regarding magic potion manufacturing method.

He liked the feeling of learning something new every day.

After Chu Rong entered the viewing platform, he saw Qiao Zhiya lying on the table, and writing and drawing in front of a pile of bricks.3[Lol. XD] From his perspective, he could only see the sharp ear tips of the other person when he lowered his head.

He moved his fingers, succumbed to his desires, and stepped forward to pinch the tip of his small ear.

As soon as Qiao Zhiya stiffened, he put down his pen and looked up at him. When he saw it was him, his eyes lit up and just as a smile started to emerge on his face, he suddenly remembered something, making his expression tight. He buried his head back in the books, tilted his head to pull his ear out of his grip, picked up his pen, and continued to write and draw, ignoring him.

Well?

Chu Rong squinted his eyes and reached out his hand again.

Qiao Zhiya ducked as if he had eyes on the top of his head, letting him pinch an empty air.

Oh!

Had a tantrum?4[Translator’s Note: For the sake of my peace of mind, here’s another way I want to translate it: Lost his temper?]

Chu Rong retracted his hand and glanced at him from top to bottom. He paused for a few seconds, decisively stretched out his hand, grabbed him by his back collar, picked him up, and stuffed him into the chair. He stepped across with his long legs and sat beside him. He squeezed him into the corner, and nastily ruffled his hair.

“You!” Qiao Zhiya glared.

“Who told you to learn this?” Chu Rong rubbed his hair, glanced at the botanical encyclopedia opened on the table, and the densely packed notes in the electronic tablet. He was a little surprised at his amazing learning speed. However, his face looked chilly as he said, “A few days ago, you were still talking about learning mecha manufacturing to me. It’s only been a few days, and now you have changed your mind and learned this. Are you not keeping your words?”5[In other words, not doing as one says.]  

Qiao Zhiya huddled pitifully in the corner and was a little angry. After a long time of being upset, he said, “You said that I can’t learn mecha manufacturing without spiritual power.”  

“It’s not good to cower just from encountering a little difficulty.” Ancestor Chu changed his face faster than flipping a page, and awe-inspiringly condemned his fickle behavior.

The simple dwarf blushed when he said this. He raised his head and stared at him. He retorted, “I don’t want to give up. I just want to learn something else to support myself before I can rely on mecha manufacturing.” Dwarves also had to eat. Without a full stomach, how could they talk about dreams?

Also, there was this person’s illness. He had never done magic potions, so he had to learn more to lay a foundation… Thinking of this, he quickly glanced at the cold expression of the person beside him, and once again became dispirited. He felt that he should be firmer and hit back the phrase “bald chicken” with his fist, instead of being embarrassingly squeezed in a corner like this.

Hearing how to “support oneself” in the mouth of an underage kid, Chu Rong’s thoughts about teasing Qiao Zhiya6[Kris Xian: It was actually implied that Chu Rong treats/calls our Xiao Qiao as a pet several times. It’s just… demoralizing. You may see me complaining in the future.] disappeared, and when he thought of his annoying younger brother who only knew how to cause trouble at home, his heart softened. He gently pulled his ear and said, “I found you, so I will naturally support you. Moreover, you are not yet an adult and have no relatives. Even if you don’t have an official Federal resident status, the Federal government will give you a monthly living allowance. Hence, you can rest assured that you won’t starve until you can really be independent.”  

Qiao Zhiya was stunned. He didn’t expect this place to have such benefits. He then quickly focused on the first sentence he said, looked up at him with wide eyes, and asked, “You, you will support me?”  

“Of course.”  Chu Rong liked the way he looked at himself, tugged at his ears, and said in a good mood, “You don’t eat much, I can surely afford raising you.” He raised his chin slightly and looked at his face, waiting for his surprise and gratitude.

Qiao Zhiya was indeed grateful, but he didn’t feel surprised, only frightened, because among the dwarves, apart from their parents, the only one unrelated and adult independent dwarf they would support was their partner.

“No, definitely not!” Thinking of this, he shook his head and refused, “In my hometown, I am already considered an adult. I can’t accept another person’s nurture for no reason. This won’t do, it won’t work, I, I will support myself! You, you don’t need to support me.”  

Once again rejected, Ancestor Chu was extremely irritable. He reached out his hand to grab and shook him, “Little Devil, do you look down on me and think I can’t support you?”  

“No, I didn’t think so. I just thought I can—”

“No, you can’t.” Chu Rong interrupted him, put him back on the chair, and said, “The reason why mecha manufacturing relies so much on spiritual power is because almost all the materials used to make mechas more or less have issues, and cannot be used at all without proper processing. Spiritual power integration is a step that must be used in the final processing of materials. The purpose is to make materials with different properties blend more, be more compatible, and form a whole. This degree of integration cannot be replaced by mechanical processing. That’s why I said that without spiritual power, you can’t even handle the materials.”  

Qiao Zhiya’s thoughts immediately followed, frowning slightly, and had a thoughtful look. It turned out that spiritual power played such a role in the creation of mechas. Magic power was partly similar to spiritual power, so the things that spiritual power could do, maybe magic power could also…

“You don’t have spiritual power, but you want to take the path of mecha manufacturing, then the expenses for this will be several times or even dozens of times that compared to other careers, whether it’s energy or money.” Chu Rong held down the top of his head, rubbed his bangs, and laid bare everything to him, “The Federation will guarantee that you will not starve to death, and will also provide you with basic education. However, it will not be able to give you other learning resources. The excellent mecha manufacturing colleges require you to take an examination. After you pass the exam, you need to supplement the purchase of materials and equipment needed during the learning process. At the later stage, you also need to prepare an independent studio for research for yourself. It can be said that every outstanding mecha designer is piled up with a lot of money and materials. Qiao Zhiya, I don’t look down on you, but I think that with your current blank and no foundation, the most suitable and convenient choice to quickly get on the right track is to be supported by me, and then build a perfect mecha for me in return.”  

Qiao Zhiya was silent. In fact, he had thought about all this, and even planned for it. The early stage was definitely the most difficult, nevertheless, he still had a card, which was his excellent mining ability. He used his light brain to search, and there was a profession similar to an adventurer, that was, a mine seeker. These adventurers searched in wastelands on marginal planets. Once they found new minerals, after reporting to the Federation, they could obtain part of the mining rights and ownership of the minerals they sought. Upon having a transaction, he didn’t have to worry about not having any profit for 30 years as money came in very quickly in this profession.

He planned it this way, and directly explained. Chu Rong immediately laughed in anger, pinched his ear hard, and said, “It seems that you think foolish things when you’re alone. Anyone can dream of being rich overnight, but it’s not that easy.”  

Mine seeking was indeed very profitable. There were also few mine seekers who were rich enough to buy planets to play with, but they were a minority after all. Most mine seekers lived in poverty, running around on the road all day without hope.

Since the development of the Federation and the Empire, the planets that should be discovered in the surrounding star regions had been almost discovered. Even if a new planet appeared, the Empire and the Federation would get in touch with the natives on the planet as soon as possible, and then ask them to join their nation. Afterwards, they would send troops to figure out the basic situation of the planet. If there were minerals on the planet, they could basically be detected with the current and advanced instruments. Meanwhile, the minerals that could not be detected by the instruments could manually be found.

The most important thing was that the deeper the mine was hidden, the worse the surrounding environment was. There were even guardian animals that may appear, which could be described as extremely dangerous. Generally, mine seekers had their own professional teams. They supported mecha fighters and mecha designers at high costs to ensure the safety of mine searching.

According to Qiao Zhiya’s simple and naive idea, rashly embarking on this road may only lead to one result— before finding the mine, he would have already died on the road.

The danger could not only from the environment and the unknown, but also from other mineral seekers who were competitive. Death and injury were common on the chaotic path of mine seeking. It was a completely dark gray area that was outside the law.

“The circumstances of each planet are different. Without sufficient preparation, there is only one dead end. There is darkness outside of civilized society. You have nothing now. Only when you are alive can you have something. When you die, you’ll be left with nothing.”  

Chu Rong brushed his bangs aside and looked at Qiao Zhiya’s eyes as pure and innocent as if they could reflect the whole universe. He stretched out his finger and gently touched his curled eyelashes. Seeing that he dodged reflexively, it was like recovering from some profound emotion. He took back his hand, looked sideways at the large pile of textbooks on the table, snorted, and said with a smile, “So, Little Demon, I’ll be honest with you, I won’t support you for free. I’ll be waiting for the mecha you promised.”  

After listening to such a thorough analysis, Qiao Zhiya also realized his naivety and indulgence to such fantasies. Nevertheless, he also saw the other’s good intentions. He raised his hand and touched the bangs that had been ruffled and brushed aside. He lowered his eyes, pursed his lips, and asked, “Then what if I can’t make a mecha suitable for you…”

“What’s to be done then?” Chu Rong raised his eyebrows and wickedly replied, “Of course, roll back to me and learn mecha driving. Work hard for me to pay back what you owe me.” 7[Kris Xian: (ノ∀`♥) It’s sweet that Chu Rong offered himself as Qiao Zhiya’s back-up.]

The implication of this sentence was that even if he couldn’t learn mecha manufacturing, there was still a back road for mecha driving waiting for him.

Qiao Zhiya looked up at his harsh expression. His heart was soft, his nose was sore, and his eyes reddened. He suddenly raised his hand and pressed his eyes with his sleeve.

Waiting for him to leap forward and hug his thigh,8[Hug his thigh (抱大腿) means to cling to somebody influential or famous.] Chu Rong frowned when he saw his actions. He froze for a few seconds, pulled his hand with a stern expression, and said, “What are you hesitating for? It’s not as if it will take your life. Are you not ashamed of crying? You—”

Qiao Zhiya rushed over to hug him, and buried his face in his chest, and rubbed against his chest. His voice was muffled, but full of gratitude, “Thank you, I will definitely make a mecha suitable for you and, and… ” cure your illness.

Although this person was always fierce, he had always been thinking about his well-being. He was so kind— how could he be so kind?

The soft-hearted dwarf was so moved to the point of crying, and the dark-faced Ancestor Chu was completely stiff.

“Let go.” He frowned, feeling uncomfortable with being tightly hugged.

Qiao Zhiya did not let go, but hugged tighter, and fondly nuzzled in his arms.

Ancestor Chu opened his hands and looked at the vast and beautiful sea of stars outside, thinking coldly about the possibility of throwing this dead child out.

The atmosphere was a little deadlocked, and then a muffled voice came from his chest.

“White-Haired Monster.”  

Ancestor Chu felt as if he had auditory hallucinations. He narrowed his eyes expressionlessly, paused for a few seconds, suddenly looked down at the small head on his chest, and pulled him out by his back collar. His voice couldn’t help raising, “Little Demon, what did you just call me?!”  

“Now, we are even.” With a red nose and flushed eyes, Qiao Zhiya raised his hand to wipe his face. He smiled at him, showing his white teeth, and pulled his collar like he did, and said, “I will pay you for my living expenses.” …and a lot more.

Ancestor Chu, who had always been respected, praised, and held high by people, was pulled by the collar for the first time in his many years of living. He couldn’t believe it. After that, he only felt annoyance rising from the soles of his feet and blocking his chest, almost suffocating him!

His expression changed fiercely several times. He couldn’t help shaking Qiao Zhiya vigorously, like an angry parent whose son had been defiled by villainous people. He gritted his teeth and said, “Who taught you? Who taught you these?! Who taught that d*mn nickname and the action of pulling the collar? Speak! Is it Zhuang Yu? Is it Lin Zhen? Or that one in the team surnamed Tan who’s sticky with you!”  

Lin Zhen, who just came up to look for him, stopped, adjusted the collar of his uniform, and said ruthlessly, “Sir, I think Qiao learned all these bad things from you. If you don’t believe me, look at your hand. Furthermore, the warship is about to land. You should prepare for uniting with the military headquarters.”  

Chu Rong quickly turned his head to look at him, gave him a murderous look, and then looked at his hand. He became silent.

Qiao Zhiya looked at Lin Zhen innocently, and then at Chu Rong. His ears moved, and he wondered, “Isn’t this a way of expressing intimacy? I think so since you keep doing this to me.”  

“…”

Lin Zhen attacked someone who was already under fire, “No, Qiao, good boys don’t pull other people’s collars indiscriminately. That’s a provocation.”  

“Ah?” Qiao Zhiya was stunned, glanced at Chu Rong’s arm, paused, and asked in a low voice, “You…want to fight me?”9[Kris Xian: Pffftt— HAHAHAHAHAHA! I’ve been wondering all this time if there’s going to be a fight scene in this chapter considering the chapter teaser, it turns out to be like this. Hahaha!]  


Translator’s Note

Sigh. To those particular people involved in SLT epub issue, the ad revenues earned from the novels I translate are just so meager they’re not even enough to pay for my Internet data and electricity I consume whenever I translate. Ko-fi donations are also just in my PayPal account, untouched, and currently being saved until I reach $34, so that I can recharge my JJWXC coin balance to buy raws. The money earned from this just goes back to supporting the authors. The only benefits I am really getting are my project readers’ likes and comments and I haven’t even had a cup of my favorite milk tea from the scant ad rev of these projects, not that I’m blaming anyone. These fan translations I’m doing are illegal, I won’t deny that. You’re consuming something illegal as most fan translators do not have the author’s permission, that’s also undeniable. If I accidentally shamed someone from asking to take down SLT translations’ epubs and had sounded so money-grubbing, I apologize. I just wanna say that I never intended that, and I no longer want to shed tears and feel extremely down for that incident since I’m only just doing this translating for a hobby. Also, don’t forget to support the author if you enjoy his/her story. Potato-jie provided all the links and instructions in supporting the authors below.

Thanks for reading. This chapter part is the update scheduled last week. I apologize for not updating the previous week, and I owe you, guys, three chapter-worth parts this week, two are sponsored while one is the update scheduled this week.


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Kris Xian [Translator]

Hi! Kris Xian here, bringing you awesome fan-translated danmei stories! As stated, this is only a fan translation of a paid content, thus, if you enjoyed the above story you just read, it will be great if you can support the author by purchasing the paid chapters. Meanwhile, if you appreciate the stories I translate, give them a heart and leave a comment.
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9 Comments

    1. Kris Xian
      Kris Xian [Translator]

      You’re welcome. Also, thanks for the Ko-fis and patience. 🥺🤧❤️

  1. Sadie Woods

    See, what I love about this author is even though Chu Rong can really act like a real patronizing and mean mouthed jerk at times, he also isn’t allowed to get away with it either! His BS is either called out by other characters or fought back against by Qiao Zhiya. He’s tsundere and used to getting what he wants. Unfortunately for him, it won’t go 100% like he intends. He only gets away with what he does so far just because Zhiya can’t understand him fully. Haha! At any rate, this is way more nuanced and empowering to Qiao Zhiya than a very irritating gong-bullies-shou story. Expect our little dwarf to speak up and do something if he really feels insulted in any way! Thanks for your hard work translating!

    1. Kris Xian
      Kris Xian [Translator]

      So true, so true! I agree with all that you said. Chu Rong won’t easily get away with his bullying considering Xiao Qiao and others immediately getting back against him. Hohohoho. Way to go, guys!

    2. Auralie

      Your welcome ☺ also just to let you know I’m moving soon and there’s a possibility I won’t be able to use internet there so if I don’t reply to a chapter then that means I’m unable to read it just yet. I love your translations and if there’s a chance that I can’t read it for a bit, know that I will start reading again once we got internet 😊