InterStellar Dad

Chapter 74: Plan

“Something doesn’t seem right,” Tanaka said.

It was the first day back to work for Jiang Miao and Yan He after their handover. Jiang Miao took off her glasses. “Huh?”

“Haven’t you noticed?” Tanaka said, “The density of Guardians has been alarmingly high lately.”

Jiang Miao shrugged. “Didn’t the news mention that? In a few months, it’s the triennial parliament session, and all the parliamentarians will gather in the Capital Star. It’s for security.”

“No, Jiang. How long have you been in the Capital Star? You must have experienced a parliamentary session at least once, right? Think back. Was it ever this strict?” Tanaka asked.

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Jiang Miao was never particularly interested in politics, but after a moment of thought, she said, “Hmm… I don’t recall… feeling like this before?”

“Yeah, it never gets this strict, almost to the point of disturbing the peace,” Tanaka said. “I was sailing to Kelanya Star the day before yesterday for leisure, and they had checkpoints set up along the route. And no, they weren’t police boats; they were battleships from the Garrison!”

The Guardians belonged to the police force, responsible for maintaining security on the planet’s surface and near space. The Garrison, on the other hand, was responsible for space defense around the entire Capital Star system. The two were not the same.

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Jwv Kkydt Ykys’p qsnwp oyp lzploblal.

“R dlle vs rzyd rasrlazu. R pbswze tlv y rakhyvl pbkr vss,” pbl pyke.

Jlqsal, obld pbl oyp yzsdl, pbl qlzv rwczkn vaydprsavyvksd oyp pwqqknkldv. Mbld Zyd Tl nyxl, yde vblu cswtbv y rakhyvl nya, obknb oyp kdelle xsal nsdhldkldv vbyd rwczkn vaydpkv.

Lso okvb Kkydt Swk, yde pllkdt Mydyjy cwukdt y rakhyvl prynlpbkr yde zlkpwalzu qzukdt vs dlyacu rzydlvp sd olljldep, ldfsukdt qallesx yde nbkndlpp, Kkydt Ykys yzps qlzv vlxrvle.

Jwv y rakhyvl pbkr oyp y ckt-vknjlv kvlx, yzxspv sd rya okvb cwukdt y bswpl. Kkydt Ykys oyp pvkzz uswdt, bla pyhkdtp dsv yp ycwdeydv yp Mydyjy’p, yde kv oswze vyjl psxl vkxl clqsal pbl nswze yqqsae y rakhyvl pbkr.

Fweeldzu qllzkdt y ckv ldhkswp sq Mydyjy, Kkydt Ykys ypjle, “Tlu, obld es usw rzyd vs alvkal?”

Mydyjy, kd bkp wpwyz ycpldv-xkdele pvyvl, pllxkdtzu zspv kd vbswtbv, oyp caswtbv cynj vs alyzkvu cu Kkydt Ykys’p nyzz yde alrzkle kaakvyczu, “Tlu, R’x pvkzz uswdt!”

“R jdso, R jdso, usw’al uswdt yde bydepsxl, vbl zyc’p dwxcla sdl blyavvbasc,” Kkydt Ykys vlyple. “R xlyd, usw’hl rascyczu ynbklhle qkdydnkyz qallesx cu dso, aktbv?”

Tanaka, not yet sixty, with a house and a ship, and already achieving financial freedom, could be considered quite successful.

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But Tanaka wasn’t complacent. “You’ll achieve financial freedom faster and earlier than me for sure,” he said.

It was evident to the naked eye that Jiang Miao’s career trajectory would rise faster and better than his.

Jiang Miao sighed, “Who knows.”

She didn’t want to mention the possibility of leaving the Capital Star system to Tanaka for the time being. In her mind, she pondered what kind of work she could find in the border regions if she were to leave here.

According to her non-compete, non-disclosure, and confidentiality agreements with Alison, she couldn’t engage in similar work for twenty years if she resigned.

But it didn’t matter. Whether she entered the military-industrial complex or the civilian technology or medical device industries, she could excel. She had chosen this job initially because of the large company, good benefits, and generous treatment.

If she went to the border regions, her income might decrease compared to now.

But life was about gains and losses. She wasn’t giving up work to become a homemaker; she was just balancing between family and career, finding a middle ground.

She couldn’t afford to let go of either side.

As she prepared to leave after work, Tanaka intercepted her in the corridor. “Come on, let’s go for a drink and relax.”

Jiang Miao hesitated. “Uh, but the baby’s waiting for me at home…” She had to go home to see her handsome husband and chubby son.

Tanaka, having been a caregiver himself, rolled his eyes. “Come on, you’ve been with him for a month, isn’t that enough? Today we celebrate your successful completion of your first month of parental leave and return to work. Let’s go, relax!”

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“Having a drink to relax after work” sounded so tempting. Jiang Miao was quite tempted.

She had spent every hour of the past month with Jiang Rui. Although she had adapted later and could handle it well, she was truly tired.

“I’ll give Yan He a call, no, I’ll just leave him a message,” she tapped on her smart brain activation.

What should she say? Saying “You take care of the baby at home, I’ll go have a drink” always felt so guilty…

“Ahem,” Jiang Miao left a message for Yan He, saying, “I have something to do today, I’ll be home a bit later.”

Tanaka: “…”

Jiang Miao closed the smart brain and sighed, “Suddenly I understand the mentality of ancient scumbags.”

Tanaka: “Huh?”

“It’s like in ancient times, wives would stay at home and take care of the children, it was very tough for them, and they eagerly awaited their husbands to come home and share the responsibility. But some scumbags always made excuses and couldn’t fulfill this duty,” Jiang Miao explained to Tanaka.

“We’re talking about husbands and wives, that’s from the ancient Earth era, right?” Tanaka said. “Raising children was very tough back then, everything was done manually. Oh, and there was housework too. Shouldn’t both husband and wife share the responsibility? Why evade it?”

“Because they’re scumbags,” Jiang Miao felt the generation gap and changed her tone, “Come on, where are we going?”

As soon as she finished speaking, Yan’s reply came: Have a good time drinking.

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Jiang Miao: “…”

Tanaka inviting Jiang Miao to drink and relax was fake; he had something to say that was true.

At the bar, after ordering drinks, he asked Jiang Miao, “Do you still remember Archie Coke?”

Jiang Miao had a strong memory and immediately said, “He had an affair with you.”

“That’s not the point, uh, okay, you’re not wrong,” Tanaka said, “When he came to headquarters for training, we did sleep together.”

“The point is, he’s in the Technical Support Department, directly interacting with clients.”

“What’s the matter with him? Did he get into trouble? Need your help?” Jiang Miao asked.

“No,” Tanaka said, “It’s just, I’ve been in contact with him all along, and a few days ago, he told me something strange.”

Seemingly gossip-worthy, Jiang Miao became interested. “What’s the situation?”

Tanaka hesitated for a moment and lowered his voice. “It’s about Shark Tooth.”

Shark Tooth was a new type of ship developed by the team led by Jiang Miao. It utilized a new algorithm and was highly praised by the military as soon as it was put into practical use.

“What’s wrong with Shark Tooth?” Jiang Miao was a bit surprised. “Is there a technical problem?”

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“It’s not a technical issue,” Tanaka’s voice lowered even more, “Coke received ten Shark Tooth ships at the border half a month ago and escorted them to the client, but… the recipient wasn’t from the military.”

Shark Tooth was a weapon developed in cooperation with the military by Allison. As the lead designer, Jiang Miao could enjoy some benefits, but the crucial patents were in the hands of the military. It was a weapon owned by the state and not for sale to outsiders.

Simply put, if the recipient wasn’t from the military, it meant Allison was selling prohibited weapons to outsiders.

But Allison had done this sort of thing before. The complex web of interests behind this, the political protection, and the less visible transportation channels were not something Jiang Miao and Tanaka, who were focused on research, could interfere with.

Even though no one nearby could overhear their conversation, Jiang Miao couldn’t help but lower her voice and say, “But… there’s nothing we can do about it, right? What does he want from you?”

“He doesn’t want anything. He just quietly told me about this matter. Of course, I don’t dare to intervene either, I still want to keep my life,” Tanaka said, “But, from his description, I suspect… the other party might be associated with Arthur.”

Jiang Miao was taken aback. “Little Fish? But he’s…”

Tanaka quickly covered Jiang Miao’s mouth and looked around, then whispered, “What else could it be? Why would anyone want to buy such large-scale weapons of mass destruction out of the blue? Do you think the illicit income from Allison comes from law-abiding citizens?”

Jiang Miao steadied her emotions, pushed Tanaka’s hand away, and said, “What about the last incident? Was it just left unresolved?”

Tanaka shrugged.

Several months ago, Little Fish attempted to kidnap Jiang Miao and Tanaka. The military and national security intervened, accusing Allison of trafficking in prohibited weapons. But after Jiang Miao and Tanaka left the military base, apart from being informed later that the alarm had been lifted and the special security measures withdrawn, they remained in the dark about everything else.

Oligarchic corporations like Allison even had private armies, engaging in direct warfare with space pirates outside and enjoying layers of political protection inside.

Tanaka and Jiang Miao dared not ask, dared not speak, only dared to continue their peaceful existence in the social space.

Now, it seemed that the kidnapping was probably an unexpected event for Allison as well. After all, the trading partner was the uncontrollable space pirates. But after the storm passed, the money they could make continued to flow.

Jiang Miao lowered her voice even further. “Tell me, what do you want me to do?”

Tanaka’s eyes became deep and mysterious.

“When you know about this kind of mess, the pressure in your heart is too much, and it’s uncomfortable to keep it bottled up,” he raised his glass and took a sip, “I can’t be the only one feeling this way.”

Jiang Miao: “…”

Damn it!

Allison’s still in cahoots with Little Fish. Jiang Miao hesitated all the way, but after she got home at night, she decided to tell Yan He.

Even with Little Fish’s facial disguise, Yan He could still recognize him. Jiang Miao always felt that he must have some grudge with that space pirate. Even if there wasn’t any, there would be one after this incident.

Just in case, it was safer to tell him.

“I’m just afraid that if he happens to reappear and seek revenge or something, you’ll be prepared,” Jiang Miao said cautiously, “But, if you can avoid reporting it upwards, it’s best… Anyway, Tanaka won’t admit that he said these things.”

Yan He didn’t make her feel awkward. He touched her face and said, “I understand, don’t worry.”

Yan He’s words always made Jiang Miao feel particularly secure.

Since she met him, what he said, he always did. What he couldn’t do, he never promised lightly.

Well, except for that “farther and better place” a few days ago.

As Tanaka said, keeping this kind of mess inside was really uncomfortable. Talking to someone about it, Jiang Miao felt much better.

She kissed Yan He and said happily, “I’m going to take a shower.”

When she came out clean and fragrant, she saw Yan He leaning on the bed, with a large golden light projection in front of him.

It was a cosmic star map, a map of the interstellar era.

“What are you looking at?” Jiang Miao climbed onto the bed and asked as she snuggled into Yan He’s arms.

“I’m thinking about taking you and the baby to some really nice places in the future,” Yan He said, enlarging the star map.

In the golden star map, a winding line was drawn, connecting several planets. These planets spanned across star systems and even star regions, very far away.

“This is already beyond the six major star regions, right?” Jiang Miao squinted as she looked.

Compared to this entire map, the capital star cluster was very small, but it was the starting point.

“Departing from the capital star, as long as we reach any of the planets on this itinerary, the journey begins,” Yan He said.

It sounded a bit strange, but Jiang Miao didn’t mind. He told her about the route he designed and each planet.

But Jiang Miao wasn’t in the mood to listen.

The scent of her lover’s body was intoxicating.

Jiang Miao grabbed onto Yan He’s neck and nibbled on his ear. Yan He tilted his head slightly to avoid her, then turned to kiss her.

His kiss was magical, making her body weak and unable to resist.

But when Jiang Miao was completely limp, Yan He didn’t continue. Instead, he forced Jiang Miao to take a serious look at the star map.

“Miaomiao, you must remember this route. This is the path we will take in the future,” he said. “Or at least, remember any one of the planets along it.”

Jiang Miao’s thoughts drifted, and she casually pointed to one. “How about Baishi Star?”

She said, “Allison has a military factory in that star system. I’ve passed by there several times on business trips, and I’ve heard it’s a nice tourist destination.”

“Good, then remember it,” Yan He said. “In the future, you, me, and the baby, we’ll leave here together and go to faraway places. If we can’t go together, your journey will start from Baishi Star. We’ll definitely meet up.”

Jiang Miao wasn’t happy that he was saying so many irrelevant things at this moment. She pouted and complained, then silenced him with a kiss.

Later, standing on Baishi Star, she remembered that Yan He had started preparing from this moment.

What she didn’t know then was that Yan He was just being cautious, preparing for the worst. Of course, he didn’t want the worst-case scenario to happen.

But many things were beyond his control.

The most common thing in the world is accidents.


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