“Unknown language, unable to recognize.”
Magic stones were divided into different attributes. There was gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. They were mostly found in places where the five natural elements of gold, wood, water, fire, and earth were abundant. They were extremely rare and precious.
Qiao Zhiya, as a hybrid of elves and dwarves, possessed two types of magic, wood and earth. Although his magic was weak due to being a mixed blood that it basically did not work much at ordinary times, it was still better than nothing. Moreover, magic could be practiced and increased. It might be weak now but it didn’t mean it would be the same in the future.
Since arriving at this strange place, he had not sensed the existence of magical elements in the air. The thin magical power in his body had been unable to recover after he used it. He was really flustered. Currently, he found a suspected high-grade wood magic stone in his hand. He immediately became excited. If there was a magic stone, then it proved that there was magic in this place! As long as there was magic, he could find a way to contact his parents. He could establish a magic connection, draw a teleportation array, and go home!
Due to his excitement, his hand holding the magic stone tightened unconsciously. His palm became warm and the magic power in the magic stone was triggered and began to continuously be absorbed into his body. The originally dry internal magic pool filled up rapidly. The cool and moist wood-attributed magic power spread, slowly nourishing his body with an inclusive and gentle force.
Qiao Zhiya closed his eyes comfortably and couldn’t help curling his toes.
“Are you stupid?”
A cold voice sounded above his head. Immediately after the body warmed up, the slipped blanket was used to cover his body again. Qiao Zhiya regained his senses from the peculiar feeling when he absorbed the magic. Thinking of something, he couldn’t care about seeing Chu Rong standing in front of him, and took the green stone in his hand and looked at it.
The originally round and shiny green stone has now dimmed in color. There was a layer of lifeless gray on the surface, no longer the bright crystal clear before.
Qiao Zhiya was stupid. The high-grade wood magic stone was highly praised by magicians because of its pure magic power and its gentle compatibility with other magic stones. The price was several times that of other magic stones! He, he simply couldn’t afford it!
Dwarves were mostly industrious and wealthy, but he had just recently graduated from the clan school. He no longer accepted parental care and had not found a formal job. It was the poorest time in his life, not to mention the high-level magic stone, he couldn’t even afford the low-level one.
After all, he was just a young dwarf who had just grown up. He hadn’t gone out to journey yet. He had been sheltered by his tribe and his parents while growing up. Even though he suffered a little injustice because of being a mixed blood, his life was still stable and smooth. Now, in the face of sudden changes, it was not easy for him to maintain his calmness for so long. His mood had just risen and fallen because of the sudden appearance of the magic stone. Presently, finding himself in trouble, although nothing showed on his face, his eyes were reddish.
What to do? He actually used up the thing that belonged to the benefactor who saved his life…
“Get up.” Seeing him sitting motionless on the ground, Uncle Chu began to be impatient again.
Zhuang Yu could not stay still seeing Chu Rong’s Yama1[T/N: Not sure about this. Maybe it refers to King Yama of Buddhism.] face and whispered, “This child is upset. The suppressor has been taken out, but his spiritual strength cannot be utilized. He should have realized that there is something wrong with him…”
After hearing this remark, Chu Rong looked at Qiao Zhiya’s half-dried head and his figure that was much slender than his peers. He frowned more deeply and bended down. He held the teenager’s shoulder to hold him up and said in a deep voice, “S physique is enough for you to become strong. Cheer up a little bit.” He raised his hand and rubbed the wet hair that had stuck on the teenager’s forehead, exposing it which forced him to look up.
It was only a momentary weakness. When Qiao Zhiya heard the cold voice from above his head, Qiao Zhiya quickly calmed his emotions. He stood up with the other party’s support and looked at the person in front of him. For the first time, his eyes did not have any precaution. He carefully handed over the high-level wooden magic stone in his hand and whispered, “Is this yours? I’m sorry I broke it. I’ll pay for it. And thank you for saving me.” While speaking, he looked at Zhuang Yu and Fan Xiangnan— who was still facing the wall and didn’t turn around, and thanked them separately.
Zhuang Yu clutched her chest this time and said in an erratic tone, “Oh my god. His eyelashes are so long and his voice is like singing, so good…”
With his elvish blood, Qiao Zhiya’s voice was really good. His voice was not as thick and low as other dwarves, but soft and translucent, like the first bird song in the forest when the sun rises. For this reason, he was not less discriminated against by other young dwarves. He was often mocked as his voice was not “warrior” at all, saying that he was not qualified to be a dwarf. Although he later proved himself with his strength and received a sincere apology from his peers, his personality was still somewhat affected. He was always silent and he tried not to speak as much as possible.
Having been used to the low or harsh voice of his subordinates, he suddenly heard this clear voice which obviously belonged to a young man. Even Chu Rong, who was not very sensitive to voices, had to admit that the voice of the bald chicken that he caught at that time was too good to hear.
His mood suddenly lightened.
He glanced at the other person’s white palm raised in front of him and then at the flushed eye corners. He reached out his hand to Fan Xiangnan and said, “Give me the translator.”
When Fan Xiangnan heard the command, he immediately opened his eyes and walked over. He took a black round instrument about the size of a palm from the space button and handed it to him. Then, he looked at Qiao Zhiya and gave him a friendly smile.
After receiving the goodwill from the other party, Qiao Zhiya’s expression softened a little, pursed his lips, and sheepishly returned his smile. These people were really good people. Although the White-Haired Monster still had a bad attitude that he sometimes couldn’t help pulling out his hammer, he still vowed to repay the kindness of saving his life this time.
Chu Rong ignored their exchange. He opened the translator, reached out in front of Qiao Zhiya, and ordered, “Repeat what you just said.”
Qiao Zhiya was immediately attracted by the machine that stretched out in front of him. He fixed his gaze on the flashing light of the translator. He wanted to touch but was afraid of being rude. He raised his eyes to look at Chu Rong and asked unconsciously, “What?”
The light of the translator stopped, and an electronic sound came up, “Unknown language, unable to recognize.”
Qiao Zhiya didn’t expect the machine to speak suddenly. He was startled. However, his curiosity and love for machinery engraved in his bones came out secretly. His eyes circled on the translator, showing eagerness— He really wants to take a look at the structure inside. Everything here should be amazing.
Zhuang Yu and Fan Xiangnan all had serious expressions and the keen sense belonging to a soldier immediately surfaced. Zhuang Yu asked first, “Unknown language? Are there new marginal planets and indigenous people discovered?”
Fan Xiangnan shook his head and replied: “The military department’s translation system is updated in real time. The unrecognizable language only represents one situation: the planet where this child grew up has not been discovered by the Federation or the Empire, and the language system has not yet been entered.”
The significance of the undiscovered planet… He looked at the thoughtful Chu Rong, hesitated and said, “Sir, this child…”’
Chu Rong returned to his senses, threw the translator back to him, took a deep look at Qiao Zhiya, whose gaze moved with the translator, and pointed to the pendant in Qiao Zhiya’s hand, and asked, “Whose thing is this thing?”
Zhuang Yu leaned over to take a look and raised his hand: “Mine. I lost a space button decoration pendant before. It looks like this, but the color was more beautiful—”
“I’ll buy it.” Chu Rong interrupted her, took out his own space button from his pocket, removed the ink pendant on it, placed it in Qiao Zhiya’s palm, and tapped it lightly. He said in a threatening tone, “No more crying. Holding a broken pendant as a treasure— country bumpkin2[T/N: Country bumpkin — I guess, it’s something like “silly” or “stupid.”].”
Qiao Zhiya opened his mouth slightly after seeing the extra thing in his hand. His eyes were full of disbelief. He had no time to pay attention to the bullying tone of Chu Rong’s. The top-grade magic stone of earth? Is— is he dreaming?
Seeing that his eyes widened and the red color of his eyes seemed to fade a little, Uncle Chu was satisfied and confirmed that he really didn’t understand what he said. When he thought of his behavior of talking with others, he was not happy. He looked at him coldly, turned around, and walked out, saying, “Notify Lin Zhen, let him investigate the mine thieves again, and figure out where they caught the slaves.”
Fan Xiangnan consciously followed and responded. He took out the communicator and began to issue orders.
Zhuang Yu didn’t expect that they would immediately leave. She was confused for a moment. She caught up with the first two steps and asked, “Sir, this child…”
“Find an empty room for him to settle in. Let someone teach him the common language of the Federation and then bring him to see me again.” Chu Rong impatiently waved his hand without looking back, while being followed by Fan Xiangnan.
Zhuang Yu stopped and looked back at Qiao Zhiya, who was holding the two pendants like a treasure. She rubbed her forehead with anxiety, “We have everything on board, but there is no teacher. Where can I find someone to teach common language…”
Half an hour later, Zhuang Yu crammed Qiao Zhiya, who was wearing a military training uniform that was too big, into a monotonously furnished room.
“Dinner will be delivered in half an hour, so you can have a good rest first.” Zhuang Yu endured the desire to touch the teenager’s head. Although she knew he didn’t understand, she still gave a gentle reminder, smiled, and left in a hurry.
Qiao Zhiya watched her leave, took a look at the strange room he was in, and touched the clean soft bed. After making sure that there was no one around, he took out the two magic stones that Zhuang Yu refused to take back and sat on the bed. He sat on the floor against the bed, closed his eyes, and mobilized the magic in his body. His fingers used magic to draw a complicated circular pattern on the ground. Then, he pulled out a hair and placed it in the middle of the pattern.
The magic circle formed and a soft light that only he could see rose up. The hair in the circle moved. Suddenly, there was a fire and spontaneous combustion, turning it into a cloud of dust.
Blood formation failed.
He was stunned, staring at the invalid magic circle for a while, then moved his gaze to the two magic stones. He hesitated, gritted his teeth, and picked up the wood magic stone that he partly absorbed, and placed it at the array’s center. He then lowered his head and started again. After drawing the magic circle, he pulled out a piece of hair again, bit his finger, and dripped a drop of blood into the circle.
A brighter light than before flashed. With the magic stone as the circle center, the magic array is more effective this time. He saw the blood in the array slowly wrapped the hair under the guidance of magic, until the white golden hair condensed into a thin red needle-like thread, which turned wildly in the array.
Qiao Zhiya’s eyes lit up when he saw this and there was even a hint of joy on his face.
The frantically turning hair combusted spontaneously again. The magic stone at the front of the eye clicked and shattered into several pieces.
The joy on Qiao Zhiya’s face froze, staring at the scorched ashes in the formation, his heart sank a little.
The first time the magic circle failed, he could comfort himself because there was no magic element in the air. The second time he used the wood magic stone with the strongest vitality as the cornerstone, and dripped blood from his fingertips, but the magic circle still failed. This only showed one thing: His parents were gone, at least not in the continent or space where he was now. As for some more terrible conjecture, he refused to believe it.
Although he had vaguely realized that the black hole should have taken him to a place far away from his hometown, it was only at this moment that he really understood clearly that even the ancient blood drawn magic array could not allow him to communicate with his family from his hometown. In this case, it was definitely not just “far”— he might not be able to go back.
All he saw here were unfamiliar and strange things. He slowly curled up his legs and hugged himself, buried his face on his knees, and closed his eyes. If he had known this before, he would definitely not insist on the idealistic thought of wanting to be independent as soon as possible when his parents asked him if he wanted to go out to wander together. Right now, he wanted to rush to the embrace of his parents.
If he knew…
Patter, a tear fell on his knee, wetting the soft cloth. He moved, pressing his eyes against his arms.
Chu Rong sat in the head chair, playing with his light brain, and asked casually, “How about that kid?”
“After returning to the room, he sat on the floor and played with the pendant, and then he fell asleep on the floor without having dinner.” Fan Xiangnan replied, after a pause, he added, “The person delivering the meal found that the child seemed to have cried.”
Chu Rong turned off his light brain, squinted at the magnified star map in the middle of the conference room, and ordered, “Send him my spiritual power purification liquid.”
Fan Xiangnan hesitated: “But, sir, that is assigned to you by the military to empower spiritual strength. There is only one drug per month…”
“Give it to him.” Chu Rong waved his hand indifferently, suddenly a little irritable, “I haven’t seen any improvement after drinking it for ten years. It can be seen that it is completely useless to me. I’m fed up, so take it away.”
Fan Xiangnan shut up, glanced at his obviously impatient expression, and sighed in his heart.