Chapter 98 – I see you’re quite happy now
Jian Luo had originally been holding the cup offered by the Elf King, but he couldn’t drink any more at the moment. He tried to maintain his composure and then placed the cup on the table.
The Elf King was still in high spirits and turned to Lu Shifeng, asking, “How do you feel about it, Marshal?”
The expression on Lu Shifeng’s face made Jian Luo seriously doubt if the Elf King was really going to send the elves to his bed without any hesitation.
The room fell silent, and everyone’s attention unintentionally turned to Marshal Lu.
Lu Shifeng raised an eyebrow and asked, “For me?”
In the front hall, elves stood side by side. They all had a delicate and shy appearance, fair skin, and a charming figure, especially their features and body proportions, which were exquisite.
Lu Shifeng slowly turned the cup in his hand and said, “They look quite appealing.”
A soft “thud” came from beside them.
Everyone looked towards the unremarkable human standing next to Marshal Lu. Jian Luo felt his face heat up and muttered, “Sorry, my hand slipped.”
The fallen cup was picked up, and Jian Luo gave a half-hearted apology to everyone before turning his attention back to the table.
Lu Shifeng glanced at him and said casually, “Since His Majesty has agreed, I can’t refuse.”
Jian Luo suddenly looked up, his eyes filled with disbelief. He stared at Lu Shifeng, his anger palpable, resembling an enraged rabbit.
Lu Shifeng said, “My adjutant happens to have a strong preference for elves, and he’s been quite idle lately. I’ll give them to him.”
Jian Luo’s eyes widened even more, and he blurted out, “Me?”
The Elf King sitting above didn’t seem to have any objections and said, “Very well, if Marshal Lu wishes it, then let it be so.”
Several elves, under the Elf King’s orders, started approaching Jian Luo. While elves were beautiful, they were also distant and not meant for casual encounters. If they all gathered around him, it would feel overwhelming.
Jian Luo felt a lump in his throat and discreetly shot Lu Shifeng a glare, whispering, “What are you doing? Why are you giving them to me? What am I supposed to do with elves?”
Lu Shifeng continued to toy with his wine cup, showing a hint of amusement as he looked at Jian Luo and said, “Aren’t we a little tired of each other, my dear? I thought I’d do you a favor.”
This man was scheming all along!
Jian Luo huffed and muttered, “If they’re given to me, they’re given to me. I won’t refuse. After all, handling them should be more difficult than not having them.”
The banquet came to an end.
The elves were exceptionally hospitable, and they arranged a temporary residence in a scenic area of the Elven Valley for Jian Luo and Lu Shifeng. Despite being a temporary place, the decor and decorations were elegant and refreshing.
Lu Shifeng had some official matters to attend to and couldn’t stay for long. After arranging the guards, he left Jian Luo to enjoy the estate. When he returned in the afternoon, it was already dusk.
At the door, Secretary Jin welcomed him and handed over his cloak, saying, “Marshal.”
“Ah,” Lu Shifeng glanced at her. “How are those elves? If he doesn’t like them, we can find a reason to reassign them tomorrow.”
While he was joking with Jian Luo, he wouldn’t neglect his duties.
To his surprise, when Secretary Jin mentioned it, she appeared uneasy and stammered, “Um, they’re… they seem to be getting along quite well with them.”
Lu Shifeng found it hard to believe. After all, elves were typically reserved and a bit proud. They shouldn’t have much in common with Jian Luo, who was quite straightforward. Moreover, those elves were originally meant to be a reward for him, and at the banquet, Jian Luo looked fierce and almost threatening, so how could they suddenly get along so well?
Marshal Lu remained calm. Lu Shifeng took a step forward and said, “I’ll go over there.”
The Elf’s back garden was always filled with lush vines, creating a picturesque scene. As they walked through the green vine-covered corridor, they heard cheerful voices not far away:
“Come, come, one more round.”
“I won, I won, hahaha.”
“My luck is amazing today!”
Lu Shifeng stood still, looking at Jian Luo who was wearing loose clothes and sitting at the garden table. Despite his visibly pregnant belly, his hands moved swiftly and expertly as he shuffled the tiles. Three elves were sitting with him, their hands a bit stiff but managing to keep up.
Jian Luo’s posture was incredibly casual. He had even taken off his coat, leaving him in a T-shirt. Despite the limitations imposed by his growing belly, his dexterity in handling the tiles was impressive. Lu Shifeng stood quietly, watching him, as if Jian Luo’s presence radiated a continuous and overwhelming charm. It was a feeling he had harbored for a long time.
Although life was challenging and difficult, Jian Luo rarely appeared troubled for too long. He was like a blazing and bright sun, occasionally experiencing dark nights but always rising again, shining brilliantly.
Fragile yet strong, weak yet powerful, Jian Luo’s radiance couldn’t be hidden.
One elf sitting nearby said, “Your Highness, don’t you want to freshen up? What if Marshal arrives?”
Jian Luo quickly played another tile, saying, “No need, no need. He’s not here yet.”
The elf hesitated, “Shouldn’t you at least get prepared?”
Jian Luo continued playing, “No, it’s fine. I’ll say I was studying.”
Jian Luo’s movements hesitated for a moment. The familiar deep voice felt like a death knell. He stiffly turned his head and met the gaze of Marshal Lu.
Lu Shifeng stood there, leaning against the trellis, raised an eyebrow, and asked, “Studying what?”
“Uh…” Jian Luo wavered and shrunk back, saying, “I’m, um, studying a puzzle game.”
Lu Shifeng clicked his tongue while playing a mahjong tile, “Oh? Like what?”
Jian Luo glanced at the elves beside him and quickly improvised, “It’s an intellectual game from the elf race called Mahjong.”
The elves’ eyes widened in surprise.
Lu Shifeng cast a glance at Jian Luo, his tone lazy, “Is that so?”
Jian Luo hastily confirmed, “Yes, yes.”
To prevent the situation from unraveling, he rushed over and affectionately took hold of Lu Shifeng’s arm, saying, “I made some noodles for you today. You can try the Yangchun noodles I prepared. I’ll go get two bowls for you to taste. I can’t eat when you’re not here. It just doesn’t feel right.”
The three little “turtles” in his belly were really causing trouble. Whoever they inherited their mischievous streak from, it certainly wasn’t him.
Lu Shifeng said, “You can’t eat without me?”
Jian Luo made an effort to sound convincing, “Yes!”
“I’m glad you’re getting used to it,” Lu Shifeng commented, his tone cool. “It seems like you’re enjoying yourself so much that I could skip it.”
“… Are you a professional eavesdropper?”
What happened next exceeded Lu Shifeng’s expectations. These three elves were originally sent to entertain Jian Luo, as the elf race was known for having a monotonous and somewhat boring lifestyle. Their personalities didn’t match, and they were originally planned to be sent away the next day. Unexpectedly, after interacting with Jian Luo for just one afternoon, these three elegant elves were slowly becoming more “civilized.”
In Jian Luo’s words:
“I can’t ask soldiers to play mahjong with me, it would interfere with their training. But it’s different for the elves; they’re all free individuals!”
With just this casual remark, Lu Shifeng realized something he had overlooked all along. He had always thought that as long as he ensured Jian Luo’s well-being, it was enough. He had never considered how Jian Luo was dealing with the boredom on the warship. Jian Luo was not a recluse by nature; he loved fun and laughter. Yet, these past few months, he hadn’t seen Jian Luo cry, complain, or get frustrated.
So, when Jian Luo was lying in bed in the morning, reluctant to get up, Lu Shifeng said, “Get up.”
Jian Luo, with sleepy eyes, mumbled, “Why? I’m so sleepy. I’m not thirsty, I don’t need water.”
Lu Shifeng said, “… Today, I’ll take you out.”
The person in bed hummed a few times, then retreated to sleep. In no time, their head popped back up, and their eyes widened with undisguised excitement, “Is it real? Is it real?”
Lu Shifeng was worried and cautioned, “Slow down. You’ve forgotten you’re pregnant.”
Jian Luo got up suddenly, nearly stumbling, but he managed to steady himself. Excited, he exclaimed, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I wasn’t prepared.”
Lu Shifeng looked at the person in front of him, who had just woken up, with disheveled hair but fair skin due to the pregnancy. He had a bit of puffiness, and his eyes were sparkling with excitement. He appeared unexpectedly cute. Marshal Lu spoke gently, “Prepared for what?”
“I made plans for a mahjong game,” Jian Luo replied. “I can’t cancel it now!”
After some morning preparations, Lu Shifeng took Jian Luo to the Elf Valley. Despite being a race known throughout the universe, the elves were exceptionally low-key. They disliked external interference and lived secluded lives in the Elf Valley, cut off from the outside world.
Their intention this time was to establish diplomatic relations with the Dark Star, as the once peaceful cosmic order had been disrupted by rampant interstellar piracy. Weaker civilizations were often oppressed, and the rich resources of the Elf planet made it an attractive target.
Jian Luo and Lu Shifeng walked along the paths in the valley. Jian Luo commented, “It’s so clean here, completely different from the other planets we’ve visited. It’s like a vacation spot.”
Lu Shifeng asked, “Do you like it here?”
“Yeah,” Jian Luo responded casually. “I hope the ecology here remains pristine and isn’t destroyed. The elves have such a good life. They are not only beautiful but also live in this picturesque place. It’s like a paradise on Earth. I hope this utopia can last, unaffected by the schemes of others.”
Lu Shifeng walked beside him and spoke slowly, “What shapes them can also destroy them.”
Jian Luo was momentarily puzzled.
Lu Shifeng ascended the stone steps between the mountains. He had an unabashed arrogance about him as he said, “It’s a survival of the fittest, adaptability, and the ability to enjoy the good fortune. You should make the most of your favorable conditions rather than seeking indulgence. Falling behind will result in being beaten. The best is to be so strong that no one can control you. Otherwise… no one should be blamed.”
Jian Luo’s eyes met Lu Shifeng’s, which were blood-red. For a moment, they seemed like those of a stranger. Jian Luo felt a sudden fear.
Although they were discussing the elves, Jian Luo couldn’t help but recall what the Queen had said to him. She had mentioned the sudden and unexplained destruction of Earth and its connection to the powerful Dark Star. Many other planets had similarly vanished without warning. The survival or extinction of a planet was just a number for the Dark Star.
What about him? As a human carrying a unique child, what awaited him? Would he be captured and subjected to experiments? Or could there be even worse outcomes? Maybe Lu Shifeng was currently treating him well, but who could predict the future? Perhaps Lu Shifeng’s behavior was only because of the child in him. But what if the Queen’s words were true? What if Lu Shifeng were to change his attitude drastically?
Lu Shifeng treated those planets harshly for the sake of the Dark Star, for the survival of the race. So, when it came to his own survival, would he treat himself the same way if it were related to the greater cause of the race?
Jian Luo didn’t know what expression was on his face at that moment, but he guessed it wasn’t a good one.
A voice, neither loud nor soft, came from the side.
All eyes once again turned toward the inconspicuous human sitting next to Marshal Lu. Jian Luo smiled awkwardly, “I’m sorry, my hand slipped.”
A cup that had fallen on the table was lifted, and Jian Luo gave everyone a half-hearted smile before returning his gaze to the table.
Lu Shifeng glanced at him and said calmly, “Since His Majesty has taken an interest, I can’t refuse this generous offer.”
Jian Luo suddenly raised his head, his eyes filled with disbelief. He stared at Lu Shifeng with a fierce expression, resembling a ruffled bunny.
Lu Shifeng continued, “My adjutant is quite fond of the elves, and coincidentally, he’s been idle lately. So, let’s gift them to him.”
Jian Luo’s eyes widened even more, and he couldn’t believe it. He stammered, “Me?”
The Elf King, seated above, had no objections. He said, “Very well, since Marshal Lu has said so, let’s proceed this way.”
Under the Elf King’s assignment, several elves approached Jian Luo. The elves were indeed beautiful, but their beauty was ethereal and unapproachable. If they all gathered around him, looking at him affectionately and exuding an otherworldly aura, it would feel somewhat overwhelming.
Jian Luo’s heart tightened, and he shot a discreet glare at Lu Shifeng. In a hushed voice, he asked, “What are you up to? Why are you giving them to me? What would I do with elves?”
Lu Shifeng, still playing with his wine cup, cast an interested glance at Jian Luo and smiled slyly, “Aren’t we getting a little tired of each other? I thought I’d indulge you.”
Jian Luo snorted softly, “Fine, I’ll take them. It’s not like they’ll be wasted. Why get angry over it? Even if I can’t enjoy their beauty, there are always more ways than difficulties!”
The banquet concluded.
The elves were very hospitable. They arranged temporary accommodations for Jian Luo and Lu Shifeng in a scenic location within the Elf Valley. Even though it was a temporary residence, the interior was elegantly decorated and exuded a refreshing and refined atmosphere.
Lu Shifeng had some business to attend to and couldn’t stay, so he arranged for guards and left Jian Luo to explore the estate. When he returned in the late afternoon, it was already dusk.
Secretary Jin stood at the door to welcome him. She took his overcoat and said, “Marshal.”
Lu Shifeng nodded. “And how are those elves? If he doesn’t like them, come up with a reason to reassign them tomorrow.”
Teasing Jian Luo was one thing, but business was another matter.
Lu Shifeng had a brilliant idea, which seemed quite reasonable. However, he was utterly surprised when Secretary Jin mentioned it. She appeared hesitant and said, “Well, they… seem to get along quite well with Luoluo.”
Lu Shifeng frowned. After all, elves were usually shy and reserved. Given their slightly haughty nature, one wouldn’t expect them to get along with Jian Luo, who was carefree and easygoing. Furthermore, those elves were initially meant to be awarded to him. Jian Luo had given them a fierce look at the banquet, as if he were about to devour them. But now they were getting along well?
Marshal Lu was somewhat displeased.
Lu Shifeng took a few steps into the room and said, “I’ll go take a look.”
The Elf Valley was always covered in lush vines, creating a picturesque atmosphere. As he passed through the green vine corridor, he heard lively sounds of laughter and conversation from a garden not far away.
“Come on, another round!”
“I’ve won, hahaha!”
“Today’s luck is amazing!”
Lu Shifeng stood in place, watching Jian Luo in loose clothing, confidently managing a mahjong game. Although his belly had grown larger, it didn’t hinder his agility in handling the cards. The three elves sitting with him, although less skillful, managed to keep up.
Jian Luo was relaxed, even taking off his coat and wearing just a simple T-shirt. If not for the limited range of his movements due to his growing belly, Lu Shifeng suspected he would have floated up into the sky. He stood by silently, watching him, as though he could sense an endless surge of vitality emanating from Jian Luo. It was effortless for Jian Luo to draw attention, just sitting there without doing anything.
This had been Lu Shifeng’s impression of Jian Luo for a long time. Despite the hardships and challenges of life, Jian Luo never seemed to be unhappy for long. He was like a blazing and brilliant sun, occasionally experiencing dark moments, but they never lasted too long. He would rise again, shining brilliantly.
Fragile yet resilient, weak yet powerful.
Lu Shifeng never believed that Jian Luo’s good life was due to him. He felt that even without him, Jian Luo could slowly build his career.
The radiance of some people couldn’t be concealed.
One of the elves sitting in the chair not far away said, “Your Highness, wouldn’t you like to freshen up just in case Marshal Lu returns?”
Jian Luo replied hurriedly, “It’s fine, it’ll be a while before he comes back.”
“This…” The elf hesitated, “Shouldn’t you prepare?”
Jian Luo’s hands didn’t stop moving. “No need. When the time comes, I’ll just say I was studying.”
“Is that so?”
Jian Luo’s movements paused, and the familiar deep voice seemed like a spell, causing him to stiffen. He reluctantly turned his head and met the gaze of Marshal Lu.
Lu Shifeng stood straight, leaning against the vines and raising an eyebrow. “Studying what?”
Jian Luo hesitated and lowered his head, saying, “Studying… puzzle games.”
Lu Shifeng glanced at the mahjong tiles. “Such as?”
Jian Luo coughed and quickly looked at the elves next to him, improvising, “These are puzzle games from their elfin culture, called mahjong.”
The elves widened their eyes.
Lu Shifeng glanced at them and spoke lazily, “Is that so?”
Jian Luo hurriedly said, “Yes, yes.”
To prevent the situation from being exposed, he came closer and affectionately took Lu Shifeng’s arm. “I made noodles today, you can try some Yangchun noodles. I’ll go get two bowls for us to taste. I can’t eat without you, especially since you’re not here, I can’t adapt at all.”
The three little turtles in his belly were quite demanding, and he wasn’t sure whose genes they’d inherited. Regardless, he was exceptionally obedient and had none of these troublesome characteristics.
Lu Shifeng said, “You can’t adapt?”
Jian Luo mumbled, “Yes.”
“I see you’re adapting quite well.” Lu Shifeng smirked. “You seem to be having a great time without me. Whether I come back or not doesn’t seem to matter.”
“… Are you a professional eavesdropper or something?”
Unexpectedly, what happened next exceeded Lu Shifeng’s expectations. These three elves were originally sent to amuse Jian Luo. The elves were usually bored and reserved, and their personalities didn’t quite match. They had originally planned to send them away the next day. However, what Jian Luo did during the afternoon gradually “transformed” these three elegant elves.
In Jian Luo’s words: “I can’t just gather some soldiers to play mahjong, right? It would disrupt their training. But the elves are different. They are all idle. Just a casual sentence, and suddenly, Luoluo helped the elves integrate.”
So, Lu Shifeng realized something he hadn’t noticed before. He had always thought that ensuring Jian Luo’s material well-being was sufficient. However, he hadn’t paid much attention to how Jian Luo, who had been alone on the battleship for months, was coping with the boredom. Jian Luo was not a solitary person by nature; he enjoyed play and laughter. Yet for these past few months, he had not complained even once.
Thus, when Jian Luo was still half-asleep and reluctant to get out of bed in the morning, Lu Shifeng said, “Get up.”
The person on the bed grumbled a few times and then returned to sleep. But shortly after, they resurfaced and stared wide-eyed, unable to conceal their excitement. “Is it real? Is it real?”
Lu Shifeng was worried he might strain himself. “Careful, you forgot about your body?”
Jian Luo got up rather energetically, nearly tumbling over Lu Shifeng. Fortunately, he steadied himself. He was excited and said, “Why didn’t you say earlier? I didn’t even prepare.”
Lu Shifeng looked at the person in his arms. Despite the messy hair from sleep, his skin was fair. Due to the pregnancy, he had some swelling, but he had also gained a bit of flesh. Excitement made his eyes sparkle, and he looked oddly adorable. Marshal Lu gently asked, “Prepare for what?”
“I have a mahjong game scheduled!”
After tidying up in the morning, Lu Shifeng took Jian Luo for a stroll in the Elf Valley. Despite being a renowned beauty in the entire universe, the elves were remarkably low-key. They avoided external influences and lived in seclusion in the Elf Valley, isolated from the world.
Their intention this time was to establish relations with the Dark Star. Although their planet had been safe in the past, the recent surge of interstellar piracy had made even the smaller and weaker races potential targets. Given the fertile resources of the Elf Planet, it had become a desirable prize.
The elves hoped to establish relations with the Dark Star for their safety.
Walking through the Elf Valley, Jian Luo said, “This place is genuinely clean. It’s unlike the planets we’ve visited before. It’s ideal for a vacation.”
Lu Shifeng asked, “Do you like it here?”
“Yeah,” Jian Luo replied casually. “I hope the ecology here can remain this way and not be destroyed. The elves are lucky. They’re beautiful, and their place of residence is like a picturesque paradise. I hope this kind of earthly paradise can last, unspoiled by those with ulterior motives.”
Walking beside him, Lu Shifeng spoke slowly, “What shapes them also has the power to destroy them.”
Jian Luo was puzzled.
Lu Shifeng ascended the mountain steps with an undisguised air of pride. “Survival of the fittest. If you have the ability to enjoy, you must have the capability to protect it. If you are blessed with exceptional conditions, you should utilize them to the fullest rather than seeking pleasure. Falling behind results in being beaten. It’s best to be so strong that no one can dictate to you. Otherwise, there’s no one else to blame.”
Jian Luo’s gaze met his, and it was a pair of blood-red eyes, momentarily frightening in their unfamiliarity. “Everything is the same.”
In that moment, Jian Luo suddenly felt a bit afraid. While Lu Shifeng was speaking about the elfin race, he recalled the words the Queen had spoken to him. She had said that the Earth’s sudden and unexplained destruction was linked to the mighty Dark Star in the universe. The destruction of many planets at that time was not coincidental.
A planet, with billions of living beings at the very least, was destroyed with the wave of a hand. Dark Star’s people would go to any lengths to achieve their goals, and the survival or extinction of a race was just a number to them.
What about himself? As the only human carrying a child, what awaited him?
Would he be taken and subjected to experiments? Or would there be even worse consequences in store for him?
Perhaps Lu Shifeng was treating him well now because of the child, but who could predict the future? Jian Luo had once naively believed that Lu Shifeng wouldn’t harm him. However, if what the Queen had said was true, and if Lu Shifeng changed his mind in the future?
Lu Shifeng had shown no mercy to the people of those planets, all in the name of the Dark Star’s interests and the survival of their race. If it came to a question of the greater good of the race, would he treat himself the same way?
Jian Luo didn’t know what expression was on his face at this moment, but he guessed it probably wasn’t a good one.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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