QZ Chapter 9
Quality Checker: MochiMochi95
First Published on Ainushi.
If Yao Tai’s words had offered these Nestlings, who were close to awakening, another possibility for the Adult Ceremony, then Zhi Shang’s supplementation was undoubtedly a shot in the arm. Many wavering couples finally made firm resolutions to pass the most important moment in their life in a peaceful way.
Among them were Lan Sheng and Ping Zong. By the time Ling Xiao heard the news, the two of them had already registered with the school doctor. They would hold their Adult Ceremony officially as soon as they entered the awakening phase.
“Have you really decided?”
“Yes,” Ping Zong replied with a smile. “I will offer my heart-tip blood voluntarily and become his Qizi in this life.”
“I will also protect him with the rights and ability I have obtained,” Lan Sheng already sounded somewhat like a Qizhu in his speech, “and never use Qizhu’s status to oppress him in my life.”
Ling Xiao’s nose twitched  after hearing Lan Sheng’s words. He wished them well from the bottom of his heart, yet at the same time, his heart was brimming with envy.
“Hey, were you so emotionally moved that you even lost your ability to speak? Though I can understand the pain in your heart as a single dog .” Lan Cheng bluntly poked Ling Xiao on his face, stuffing back all the sentiments Ling Xiao–though rarely–had finished fermenting.
“Forget about it, you two who value sex more than friends,” Ling Xiao wiped away his imaginary tears. “Once you finish your Adult Ceremony, both of you will enter a higher school, cruelly leaving me here by myself.”
“Therefore you should work harder. We’re not the first couple to register. There are quite some people who have already filed a record with Dr. Yao before us. I think there’s probably going to be a group of people graduating from the Institute soon.”
“Well, it might not be that fast. Didn’t Dr. Yao also say that even if a couple had finished their Adult Ceremony, they would not be allowed to enter the next school until they were confirmed to be free from any mental or physical problems?” Ping Zong said, slightly worried.
“What problem can there be?” Lan Sheng waved his hand disdainfully. “You’re just too nervous.”
“Eh?” Ping Zong saw two figures in a distance. “Isn’t that Ying Feng and Zhu Yue? Did they go to the clinic to register too?”
Upon hearing it, Ling Xiao immediately turned his head. Just as expected, he saw the two people Ping Zong mentioned walking out together from a white building, which was precisely Bikong Institute’s medical building.
Ling Xiao’s heart skipped a beat, and he completely missed what Lan Sheng said afterwards.
“What are you staring at?” Lan Sheng gave him a push.
“Oh, nothing…” Ling Xiao withdrew his eyes with some uneasiness. “Well, I suddenly remember that I have something to do. I gotta go first.”
Ling Xiao disappeared even faster than his final syllable, leaving Lan Sheng and Ping Zong there staring at each other.
“Why did he slip away so fast?” Lan Sheng was rather baffled.
“Dunno. What did you just say? Blood sampling?”
“Didn’t you see the notice at the entrance of the medical building just now? Everyone has to go have their blood sampled. It seems like there’s some survey that they need people’s cooperation on.”
Ping Zong was speechless. “Why didn’t you say anything when you saw it a moment ago?”
Lan Sheng smacked his own head a couple times. “I forgot about it afterwards. I think Ying Feng and Zhu Yue probably also went for that blood sampling. It’s just that I have no idea why Ling Xiao went.”
Before he could come up with an appropriate excuse, Ling Xiao was already standing outside the school clinic. He hesitated, not knowing how to explain to Dr. Yao the purpose of him coming.
——Morning, Dr. Yao. I would like to know if my classmate Ying Feng has already registered.
This kind of questions which invaded other’s privacy would not be answered even if he asked.
——I wonder how many students in my class have already registered for the Adult Ceremony.
Dr. Yao would most likely only reply ‘Just take care of yourself.’ This plan didn’t seem to work either.
Right when Ling Xiao was struggling hard in his head, someone interrupted his thoughts.
“Student, are you looking for Dr. Yao?”
Ling Xiao looked at the source of the voice. Judging from the uniform, the person seemed to be a nurse.
“Huh? Oh, yes.” Ling Xiao stalled as he answered.
“She’s not in her clinic now. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little while.”
Ling Xiao’s nervousness lessened a bit. “Oh, I see. May I ask where she went?”
“I just saw her on the way to the rooftop. She probably went for some fresh air.”
Ling Xiao thanked her with a nod, and the nurse left.
Rooftop… Ling Xiao looked upwards. Why not ask about it indirectly through a chat?
He ran up to the rooftop, three steps in two, but didn’t spot the person he was looking for.
Was the information wrong? Or perhaps she already left? Right as Ling Xiao was about to turn back and leave, he heard a familiar voice coming from a hidden place that happened to be separated from him by a corner.
Why was she talking in such a remote corner? As Ling Xiao was thinking about it, he had already walked to the foot of the wall subconsciously, and the other person’s voice became even clearer.
“You went back to work so quickly, can your body stand it?”
Ling Xiao was shocked. Dr. Zhi Shang had come to the Institute?
But he soon denied this notion. Even though it was Zhi Shang’s voice, it sounded a little distorted, more like it was coming out of a communication device. So Dr. Yao was actually talking to her Qizi over the line…Ling Xiao recalled the time when Lan Sheng talked about eavesdropping on the private conversation of that teacher from the equipment department. He wasn’t sure if he should continue to listen.
“It’s tolerable.” Yao Tai sounded a bit exhausted. “Fortunately, the Base has the most advanced medical equipment. The side effect of the ‘2nd generation’ truly exceeded what I had imagined.”
“You can’t mess with things like this the next time.” Zhi Shang’s tone became more serious. “You’re my Qizhu, but I still hope that you can respect my decisions.”
Yao Tai smiled, but she didn’t make any comment. Zhi Shang knew it was useless to say anything further. He heaved out a sigh with some helplessness, and the toughness in his voice just now faded seamlessly.
“I really mean it. You abuse your power every time…like last time. This time as well.”
Ling Xiao was especially curious about which time he was referring to, when he said last time, but he soon heard Yao Tai continuing softly, “After I injected the semi-finished ‘2nd generation’ this time, I applied the most effective purifier in time, laid in the medical chamber for two hours, then rested for a whole night with you taking care of me. Yet, despite all of these, I still feel somewhat unwell.”
“Now when I think about it, back when Teacher was at the end of his rope, he injected a dose several times more than mine. Exhausted and seriously wounded from fighting with the Military Ministry, he fled without anything in the end. There was no medicine, no medical equipment, and he was bringing with him a Nestling who hated him to the bone…”
Zhi Shang had stayed silent from her first word as she racked up the past.
“Would you say that Teacher is still alive now?”
After a period of awkward silence, Yao Tai broke the deadlock on her end, “Nevermind, let’s not talk about it. How are things on your side? Did you find the cause of the malfunction? Is it an accident or did someone do it intentionally?”
“We’ve found the cause. An intern created a conflict in the commands while setting up the program. Even though it was caused by human, it was not intentionally done.”
“That’s good. I trust Yu Quan. He won’t do the sort of things you have suspected.”
“Right.” Zhi Shang also looked ashamed. “Just that it was such a coincidence, and it was also my fault for not having enough confidence in my subordinates. Luckily, I’ve only mentioned my doubts to you. After the last incident, in addition to his own disposition, it was already hard for Yu Quan to win trust from others. I can’t let him get caught in a tight spot again.”
He paused for a second, then continued, “After all, we all studied under the same teacher before. I decided to submit an application to the Military Ministry once again later to terminate his evaluation period and promote him to an official researcher.”
Yao Tai nodded in approval. “You should. He has been an assistant for long enough. I’m afraid that if it drags on any longer, I’ll become the principal by then.”
Her words successfully amused Zhi Shang. “How is your principal lately?”
Yao Tai sighed, “Same as always. But the gentle mobilization he suggested this time worked pretty well. On top of your cooperation, there were several pairs of students coming in to register this morning already, saying that they want to imitate what you had done, offering their blood voluntarily.”
The news sounded like it was supposed to make people relax. However, it let Zhi Shang’s mood become heavier and heavier instead, “In fact, I’ve been self-criticizing ever since I said those words, that whether it was right for us to do this.”
“It doesn’t concern you.” Yao Tai refuted him solemnly, “I commanded you to do so.”
“Every time I think about those Nestlings who trusted me from the bottom of their hearts…once they enter the Adult Ceremony and find out that the truth is far from the beautiful picture I described…”
“Stop thinking about that nonsense!” Yao Tai interrupted him. Her voice was stern, but it still didn’t prevent him from speaking out the last sentence.
“…I just regret a lot. Is it really okay…for us to deceive the children together like this?”
All the while till she ended the conversation, Yao Tai didn’t find Ling Xiao who had been listening this entire time while hiding at the foot of a wall. He harbored himself there, catching his breath in fear. After he confirmed that Yao Tai had indeed left, his stiff body finally started to relax.
What was happening? An ear-piercing alarm went off at the bottom of Ling Xiao’s heart. He seemed to have accidentally heard something he shouldn’t have heard about. Why did doctor say they deceived the children? What did he lie to us about?
The original purpose of looking for Dr. Yao was thrown to the back of his mind because of this accident. Ling Xiao wanted to find someone to ask about it. Turning it over in his mind, he could only think of that person.
“So you’ve run here to ask me?” Shen He was lying leisurely on his spacious, soft recliner. There was no need to mention how much pleasure he was enjoying as he didn’t even raise his finger after seeing Ling Xiao coming in.
Ling Xiao was criticizing him in his mind. He was now a completely different person from the Shen He he saw at first. If he had appeared in front of people in his true colors from the very beginning, there probably wouldn’t be many people coming to do business with him.
Ling Xiao didn’t need Shen He to attend him. He picked a chair and sat down himself. “Aren’t you an information personnel who knows more things than others?”
“It’s true that I’m an information personnel–” Shen He intoned a long syllable lazily, “but do you still have money?”
Ling Xiao was not happy. “I’ve already paid you my living expense for the whole month.”
“That’s it~,” Shen He said it as a matter of course, “Since you can’t afford it, there’s no need to ask me. I’m running a small business here, and we don’t sell on credit.”
“You’re really…” Ling Xiao couldn’t even find a word to describe him. “I’m sure no one will like someone like you. It’s no wonder that you still can’t become an Adult even till now.”
Shen He stared at him and laughed. It was the kind of creepy laugh that made Ling Xiao’s blood run cold.
“Nevermind. Forget it.” Ling Xiao’s intuition told him that it would be better not to offend this person. “Well then, is there someone you like?”
“There is,” Shen He answered quite snappily.
Ling Xiao didn’t expect him to admit it so readily and was rather surprised, “Where is he now?”
“She doesn’t want me.” Shen He gave an rather irrelevant answer, his eyes distant. “Even if there really is a person who loves me back, I absolutely won’t hold an Adult Ceremony with him.”
“Why?” Ling Xiao was taken aback.
“Because the Adult Ceremony is just a big lie. Two people who are truly in love with each other should not come together in that way.”
Ling Xiao pricked his ears, “Doctor said he deceived us, and you also said that Adult Ceremony was a lie. Then what is the real Adult Ceremony actually like?”
Shen He shook his head meaningfully and only made a gesture for money. Ling Xiao was discouraged at once.
“Now I kind of understand why the person you love didn’t want you.”
Shen He didn’t feel ashamed at all. “Thank you for the compliments.”
“Another guest is coming.” Shen He clapped his hands twice. “Welcome.”
Ling Xiao was quite surprised because it was actually Ying Feng who dropped in this time.
“You are looking for him too?” He asked.
Ying Feng ignored his question. He raised his hand and an item flew out. “I’m coming to return this.”
Shen He laughed as he reached out his hand to catch it. “Good job, boys! Did you find what you wanted?”
Ling Xiao thought of the two motionless blood droplets on the windowsill and his mood soured, producing a “pff” sound at once.
Ying Feng seemed reluctant to stay here. He turned around and left right after returning the decoder to Shen He. Seeing that he had left, Ling Xiao immediately jumped out of his chair as well. “Wait a minute!”
Shen He turned around the decoder which Ying Feng had returned to him in his hands. He looked at those two people’s receding figures, a pondering look filled his eyes.
He spun the ring on his finger. It was actually a secret communication device, transmitting messages through an extremely special method that could even escape the military’s signal interception.
“Yo, Mr. ex-Chief Researcher,” he frivolously greeted the old senior who had lived over four hundred years longer than him.
The projected person’s look was cold and detached. “I’ve said it before. Don’t call me with that.”
“Alright then, Tai-Sir Tai Yin.” She He thought about it, but he still decided to add a prefix. “The research data you left behind in the lab was copied back successfully.”
“You’ve done well.” The curve on the corner Tai Yin’s lips finally softened a little.
“Of course, we are lucky to have your people cooperating from both the outside and within. They stirred up such a big hussle, yet it didn’t even raise other people’s suspicion. It’s just that I don’t understand. Since you already have spies inside the Base, why don’t you ask them to transmit the data out directly instead of making such a huge detour?”
“You don’t understand the Base’s management. It seems open, while in fact, it’s very strict. There’s no way for people working inside the Base to bring anything out. They can only do it through people outside the Base, and students are least likely to invoke suspicions.”
“I see. Therefore we also need to thank Bikong for arranging such a perfect off-campus tour then. It seems like the school doctor who drafted the proposal has a deep connection with you, Sir Tai Yin?” Shen He was implying something.
Tai Yin pretended not to hear it, “I’ll find someone to take care of the monitor recordings in the Base. We must not leave any trace this time. It’s not the time to expose ourselves yet. As for the people you selected, you need to take responsibility for them till the very end. Don’t let them speak out loud anything they should not say.”
Shen He threw up the decoder–or more precisely, a memory stick–in his hands and then caught it, repeating the action as if he was never tired of it. “Of course. They are themselves completely in the dark, even till now. I believe they won’t be able to tell much. Speaking of it, I think either one of them is a rarely seen talent. I sincerely hope that one day…”
He rubbed the outer shell of the memory stick with his fingers. “…they can fight alongside us.”
 Wanting to cry, like the phrase a lump in the throat.
 Chinese slang for bachelor, people who are neither married nor in a relationship.